- Lerato (not her real name) experienced persistent headaches
- She also wanted her husband of 5 years back after separating from him
- She consulted a "prophet," who went on to scam her out of R600,000
A 37-year-old woman in Pretoria, Gauteng, is broke and heavily indebted after a fake prophet scammed her out of R600,000.
Lerato Mfuthi (not her real name) contacted the prophet after experiencing persistent headaches over several years, Briefly.co.za learned.
The headaches did not stop even after surgery. Lerato had also separated from her husband of five years and wanted him back.
Speaking to DRUM magazine, she explained:
Every year since 2011 I had been getting headaches – specifically in October and November. In 2014 a neurologist at the Linksfield Hospital in Johannesburg told me I had an infection in my skull.
When the surgery didn't stop the headaches, Lerato called a number she saw on a street poster out of desperation. She described the first encounter with the prophet:
I paid a R100 consultation fee. During the consultation he told me about my life and everything he said was true. He told me I had recently separated from my husband and I had a spiritual husband who was always walking with me.
Slowly but surely, the prophet began asking her for large sums of money for various things, such as buying a sacrificial cow, breaking the bond with her "spiritual husband," and fixing her marriage.
Lerato took bank loans and asked friends and family for money, which in the end amounted to almost R600,000. The fake prophet promised to pay it back but is now no longer taking her calls.
Her dream of buying a home is now ruined, and she has opened a case against the prophet at the Olievenhoutbosch police station. It has been escalated to the Commercial Crimes Unit.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, confirmed Lerato's case and said police have visited the prophet's place but he seems to have disappeared. He added:
We always tell people to be conscious of scams and people who try to swindle money out of them. We know we have the ‘healing scam’ and people need to be careful.
Dr Velaphi Mkhize, a traditional healer and director of the Umsamo Institute, said every registered healer has a certificate. People should therefore insist on viewing these certificates before paying any money.
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