Burglars use muti to make victims sleep
A self-confessed burglar demonstrates how he lets sleep-inducing smoke into his victim's house before breaking in and stealing their belongings.
Smoke from the burning tail of a hyena, a pinch of soil from a grave, and a secret mix of herbs puts people inside a house into such a deep sleep that criminals can steal their belongings at leisure.It sounds like urban legend but a self-confessed burglar from Khayelitsha says he buys the mixture, which is ground into a powder, from a local sangoma and “it works like magic”.
The 26-year-old robber, who gave his name as Gift Klass, said he rolled the powder in a tube of paper and after lighting it, let the smoke waft under the door of the house he was targeting.
He said the best time to do it was when the family was sitting down together to watch TV.
“That way you know everyone is in the lounge.”
He said within two minutes of letting the smoke into the house the occupants would all fall asleep.
Klass said it didn’t matter how long it took for them to break in through the door or how much time they spent in the house stealing belongings, the family would only wake up in the morning.
Two sangomas in Khayelitsha confirmed that such a muti existed and that it was being used by criminals.
Sangoma Mtimkhulu Radebe from Khayelitsha B-section, said the powder was made by using soil from a grave mixed with incense and herbs he refused to name.
Except for confirming its existence, Radebe refused to give more information, saying his ancestors would be angered.
Sangoma Duma Kude from Harare, Khayelitsha, said the powder worked best when mixed with a hyena’s tail.
“A small part from a hyena’s tail can make you sleep like you’re dead,” said Kude.
But he said hyena’s tails were scarce in the Western Cape, with a whole tail costing about R30 000.
Asked if the muti did not have a distinctive smell that would warn people they were being targeted, he said sangomas put incense in the mixture to neutralise the smell so that people would not notice it in time.
Real gangsters used the mixture with hyena’s tale while “little skollies” use the cheaper version that only had grave soil and herbs in it, he said.
He said besides making those who inhaled it sleep deeply, it had no side effects.
Khayelitsha resident Lwando Luvivi, 35, said he’d been a victim of the muti in December.
He said he fell asleep while alone in the house watching TV, and was absolutely positive he had locked his door.
When he woke up in the morning his door had been kicked in and his audio-visual equipment stolen.
“They took all of my music system and TV. I don’t know what happened. They left me holding the remote control.”
Luvivi said he knew of other people who had the same experience.
Khayelitsha Lingelethu police station spokesperson Siphokazi Mawisa said she had not heard of the muti being used to commit robberies.