WhatsApp messages provide evidence that the Zimbabwean and his wife engaged the services of South African traditional healer Mr. Bongani Mkhize, based in Phongola, KwaZulu-Natal. They sought his assistance to resolve the Zimbabwean’s legal troubles and to bring misfortune or harm to individuals they believed were working against them.
Mr. Mkhize claimed to have charged the couple an initial 200 rand consultation fee, with a further 10,000 rand fee to secure acquittal or a non-custodial sentence in court. Due to travel restrictions, the couple sent pictures for Mr. Mkhize to use in his spiritual interventions.
During the trial, the Zimbabwean informed Mr. Mkhize that his mother’s grave had been vandalized, and he asked Mr. Mkhize to punish those responsible, whom he believed to be relatives. He also alleged that his relatives, along with his ex-wife and a Bulawayo journalist (Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda), wanted him imprisoned and requested Mr. Mkhize to cause harm to them.
Mr. Mkhize declined to harm individuals and focused on the court case instead. After the acquittal, the couple went silent, with the Zimbabwean eventually stating that they were praying and did not see how Mr. Mkhize’s services had helped them. The Zimbabwean’s wife also denied approaching Mr. Mkhize, alleging that he had approached her on Facebook.
Despite the dispute, Mr. Mkhize claimed that the couple eventually paid him his dues, resolving the financial aspect of the disagreement.
Journalist Ezra “Tshisa” Sibanda, one of the individuals mentioned in the case, stated that he had been informed by someone via social media that his life was in danger. He expressed confidence in his safety and continued his work, emphasizing that he was merely doing his job.