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Healers warn of ‘dangerous imposters’

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False and misleading claims about cure to the coronavirus

Picture: Sharon Seretlo / African News Agency (ANA Archives)

THE TRADITIONAL Health Practitioners (THP) has warned South Africans against false and misleading claims that any practising healer has the cure to the coronavirus. 

“We do not want our age-old African traditional practises to be dragged in the mud by people whose aim is to make money by any means necessary. We call on community members to dismiss such charlatans for who they are – they are dangerous imposters who will drive people to their graves. We must all remain at home so that we disrupt the transmission of this deadly virus.”

THP spokesperson Mkhulu Solly Nduku said he was getting information from the sector on the ground and from practitioners about potential charlatans on social media.

He said that they were willing to work with law enforcement to ensure people who spread such misinformation were dealt with accordingly. 

Nduku said the individuals who make claims to have cures for the virus were “hellbent to destroy our profession”. 

“Even if they take our gear and wear it, we know they do not belong.”

With regard to dealing with anxiety and stress, Nduku said there were various methods people could try. 

“There are indigenous teas people can use like imphepho. It does a number of things like helping to calm down. It can also be used for fumigation and the symptoms of the flu … There is also umhlonyane that can be used both medicinally and as an indiginous tea. Ubunwele … has been found to work well as an immune booster, There is also African potato, which works well to calm nerves as much as it is an immune booster.” 

Nduku said the government had failed to consult traditional healers on Covid-19 and that the sector should be included as it formed part of essential services, according to the Constitution.

– Mpiletso Motumi