TWO police officers fleeing down a flight of stairs with stark terror written on their faces at the crack of dawn is not an everyday occurrence.
What was supposed to be a routine arrest went south in an instant when an eerie voice thundered through Iminyela Flats in Iminyela suburb last Friday.
Two detectives had been sent to arrest an Inyanga, Thamsanqa Mutisi (35), for allegedly cultivating dagga in his backyard garden.
A misunderstanding arose and the cops dug in to stamp their authority.
Confident that they could subdue the traditional healer, the officers allegedly became cocky and demanded that Mutisi should accompany them to the police station.
A neighbour who had been awoken by the noise told B-Metro that she witnessed the drama through a partially open door.
“Suddenly, Ukhulu (as Mutisi is popularly known) appeared to have gone into a trance. His ancestors spoke through him in a deep rumbling voice that scared the pants off the policemen. He waved his rod at them and the guttural voice told them lightning would strike them dead on the spot if they continued harassing Ukhulu, the voice said,” said the neighbour.
The effect on the officers was dramatic, said the witness.
The Flat at Iminyela where Inyanga stays
“Like deflating balloons, they repeatedly bumped into each other in random and uncoordinated movement in a desperate attempt to get to the door. With eyes popping in fear the cops squeezed through the door and flew down the steps. They had developed a pressing urge to be as far away from Ukhulu as possible in the shortest possible time,” said the neighbour, who added that the other-worldly voice had scared her into fleeing ahead of the cops.
“I could hear them screaming piercingly as they shot down the stairs behind me. It is a miracle they did not fall down and get badly injured. Once outside, they streaked away in different directions, probably to regroup at the police station after getting over the shock,” said the witness.
After some hours, neighbours told B-Metro, a beefed up squad of officers returned.
“The new squad humbled themselves and respectfully asked Ukhulu for permission to arrest him. He forwarded their request to his ancestral spirits, who granted the request,” said another neighbour who also declined to be named.
Mutisi led them to three dagga plants which were well maintained and measured 20 centimetres, 35 centimetres and 90 centimetres in his garden.
The detectives uprooted the plants and took them to CID Drugs and Narcotics.
They took Mutisi to Western Commonage Police Station.
Western Commonage Court
He appeared before Western Commonage Court resident magistrate shepherd Mnjanja facing a charge of planting dagga.
Although Mutisi pleaded guilty, he insisted the dagga belonged to his ancestors who had instructed him to grow it for healing purposes.
He was remanded out of custody to 18 January 2023 on $30 000 bail.
Tinashe Dzipe of Morris Davies and Co Law firm represented the Inyanga.