Jerichos attempt to '˜resurrect' drowned man
MBULUZI - Six days after he disappeared into the Mbuluzi River, Sibusiso Mavuso’s family believes he is still alive and living underwater with a snake.
Yesterday they performed rituals to appease the snake so that it could release him. In perfoming the ritual, they threw a live chicken into the river and forced a live cow to also jump into the flooded river. About 60 people watched in awe as the Mavuso family performed rituals to bring back to life the man who is believed to have drowned almost a week ago. The family are members of the Jericho Red Gown Sect.
Mavuso drowned while he had gone to pray at the river with his sister. Police scuba divers have been trying to locate his body since his disappearance but their efforts haven’t yielded fruit yet. The Mavuso family hails from Luhlangotsini, Pigg’s Peak in the northern Hhohho region. A man of the cloth who preferred to be identified only as Reverend Kunene performed the ritual. Explaining the logic behind the ritual, Sibusiso’s grandmother, Sarah Maseko, said they believed Sibusiso
was still alive under the water.
She disclosed that her family believes Sibusiso was taken by a spiritual river snake she identified as inzuzu for an underworld internship for traditional healing (kwetfasa). She could not shed more details describing the snake except for disclosing that it (snake) is the king of the underworld and water (silo semanti)
She said the ritual was to appease the snake so that it released Sibusiso back to the family.
"Sibusiso is my daughter’s son. And my belief as a Jericho Zion Church member is that he is still alive under the water. He is under strict supervision of the king of the underworld and water (silo semanti) which we refer to as inzuzu. He is alive, we are certain of that. This ritual is to plead with the king of the underworld and water to release him back to us," said Maseko. Reverend Kunene flatly refused to respond to questions about the ritual.
However, the close to 60 people who witnessed the ritual can attest to a series of strict procedures that were adhered to as the ritual was being carried out.
Before the ritual was even carried out a white chicken, candles, five cents coins, sweets, and a cow (black in colour) were bought. Kunene first lit the candles and placed them near the almost flooding river. This was followed by an ancestral prayer but he was carrying and referring to a Bible as he went about his mission.
After the prayer, Reverend Kunene then tossed the coins and sweets into the river, followed by sprinkling a liquid substance into the river.
He then threw Sibusiso’s grand-mother’s kanga and the white chicken into the river. Thereafter he called for the cow to be brought to him. He carried out what appeared to be an ancestral prayer on the cow before it was forced to jump into the river.
To onlookers’ surprise, the cow swam to safety before it was eventually swept away by the flooded river. At the time the Times team left the scene at 6:25pm the cow had not appeared on the far side of the river.
KHANYAKWEZWE CALLS IT SATANIC
MBABANE - The Jericho Red Gown Sect has distanced itself from the rituals that were performed by the Mavuso family yesterday.
This was said by Bishop Khanyakwezwe Vilakati, leader of the faction of the church which Sibusiso Mavuso’s family claims to belong to.
Vilakati rubbished claims that his church supports the rituals the family was carrying out in a bid to bring back to life the man who is believed to have drowned. "This is grossly wrong. The Jericho Church in Zion should not be mixed with satanic practices like the ones you are referring to," said Vilakati.
‘Sibusiso expected at 5am today’
MBULUZI - Sibusiso Mavuso was supposed to come out of the water at 5am today.
Sibusiso’s sister Ndumi disclosed on behalf of Reverend Kunene after the ritual that her brother would emerge from the river by 5am today. In a separate interview, she disclosed that they expected Sibusiso to come out of the water with a python wrapped around his neck. She warned that whoever would witness this should not show signs of fear.
She claimed the python was a symbol of graduation from the underworld traditional healing internship. "The reverend has just told us that my brother’s internship will be done by 5am tomorrow (today). The reverend also said it’s okay for anyone who would like to witness this to come in the morning.
"He, however, warned those who are faint-hearted not to dare come witness tomorrow (today) morning’s event as Sibusiso will come out of the water with a python wrapped around his neck. The python is a sign that he has graduated," claimed Ndumi.
Man’s family doesn’t believe in the rituals
MBULUZI – The drowned man’s paternal family does not believe in the rituals which were being performed yesterday.
A senior member of the Mavuso family disclosed that his family was being led into all this by Sibusiso’s mother’s family, the Masekos. The relative, who identified himself as Babe Mavuso, questioned a number of issues related to the rituals that were performed. He said when Sibusiso drowned, it was reported that he was wearing a blue coat but before the ritual yesterday a green coat was retrieved from the river.
"How come now a green coat believed to be the one which Sibusiso was wearing is being retrieved today? We were told he was wearing a blue coat. I pray he comes back as per the promises of the ritual; otherwise I’m sceptical about all that is happening here today (yesterday).
"We believe our son drowned and I’m yet to be proven wrong that he is not dead," said Mavuso. The ritual was said to have been preceded by a number of irregularities. It was almost aborted as money to buy the cow could not be raised. A relative from South Africa is said to have saved the day as he paid the E3 000 for the cow.
Police scuba divers were also stopped from conducting a search in the river.
Police and members of the public endured a 10-hour wait before the ritual was eventually carried out. As early as 8am people were already on the scene but had to wait until 5:45pm for the ritual to be performed.
- All this in the name of Lord? Snakes, snakes everywhere, the thing that Hunter hates with a passion. Man, are we lost here! How does Jesus and christian faith connect with this nonsense - budloti in its raw sense this, nothing more. The bishop is doing the right thing disowning these people I hope this was not just a publicity stunt though; because if he is sincre, that would be good for the christian faith.
January 21, 2013, 4:31 pm, Burns Dlamini ( Lobhoncela)