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MBABANE – It is not uncommon for women or girls to report cases of sexual assault after being attended to by traditional healers. However  tinyanga are now using technology to protect women against such. Instead of physically viewing private parts of their clients who complain of certain illnesses, traditional healers revealed that they now asked their wives to take photos of the private part of their clients. They said this ensured that they did not have to physically be in the presence of a female client who was naked.


During a recent incident, a traditional healer was accused of taking photos of his patient and also sexually assaulting her. However, traditional healers condemned this action saying patients, whether male or female should be treated with dignity. They said such cases undermined their profession as traditional healers. Menzi Mngcayi Kunene, who is a popular traditional healer in Mayiwane said it was unfortunate that female patients sometimes ended up being sexually assaulted by some traditional healers.

Kunene is famous for assisting his clients to locate Kruger coins, also known as imali ye tipoko. Kunene said he was aware of cases where patients were sexually assaulted after being asked to undress so they could be assisted with their ailments. He said it was wrong for a male traditional healer to ask a female patient to take off her clothes. He said as a traditional healer, one was expected to have a wife, who was expected to assist with  attending  to female patients.


“I normally ask my wife to check on the female patients,” he said. Kunene said as his assistant, his wife was the one who normally checked on the female patients and that she then described their conditions to him. Further, he said there were instances where his wife struggled to explain certain conditions. He also said, as a traditional healer, he also used photos of the patient’s private parts. Kunene said the photos were supposed to be taken by his wife. “I can use the photos to check the sickness and then see how I can assist the patient,” said Kunene. Further, Kunene said he was also able to diagnose a patient by listening to their concerns. “I do not always have to ask them to undress,” Kunene said.


He added that most male traditional healers were aware that it was wrong for a man to ask a woman to undress. “You should not do it even in the presence of your wife,” he said. Malayini Matsebula, who is also a traditional healer based in Pigg’s Peak, said it was not right for a traditional healer to be unmarried. “This is a job that required someone who had a partner to assist with people of the opposite sex,” said Matsebula.
He further said he also had a wife who was able to assist him whenever he was expected to attend to female clients.

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