Baboon attack splits family: witchcraft accusations traded in Plumtree household as wild animal mauls child

TWO women in a polygamous marriage are trading witchcraft accusations after the death of one of the women’s children.

Charity Sithole and Thabile Nyathi, both wives of Philani Banda lived in harmony until one day when Sithole went to the fields with Nyathi’s son.

The child was bitten by a baboon and days later died. The death sparked a fierce showdown that divided the family from Mabhema village in Plumtree.

Neighbours are shocked how things turned from good to bad out of an unfortunate incident.

“They often went to the fields together and chasing away baboons is not a new thing to Nyathi. What pains us is that she is accusing her co-wife of bewitching her child after the unfortunate baboon attack,” said Clement Mpofu, a neighbour.

However, Nyathi told B-Metro that the whole incident reeked of forces of darkness.

“When a person hates you they will always take away what you love the most, just to see you suffer. Out of all the children who were at the field that baboon decided to choose mine, prophets told me that Sithole is the one who sent that baboon to kill my child,” she said.

Banda prefers not to talk about the tragic death of his son and could not be drawn to comment on what his first wife claims.

“My child passed away and that’s all I can say, I am in no position to say what exactly happened on the day. Everyone has their own issues to deal with so I would like people to mind their own business,” he said.

Sithole could not comment as she shares a mobile phone with her husband who allegedly barred her from talking to the Press.

The matter was taken to the Headman Mengo Bhukwana but Banda declined to have it heard at the village court.

“The matter was brought to me by the wives but when I called Banda to my court he told me that he would solve the matter with them, if he fails to do so he would then approach me for my intervention,” said Headman Bhukwana.