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A VILLAGE in Limpopo has "distinguished" itself as an extraordinary haven for wizards and witches.

This came to light after a family claimed their son who went missing in February this year was kept at a neighbour's granary as a goblin.

Amen Gumbi, a 33-year-old mentally challenged man from Thomo village, Giyani disappeared without a trace on February 23.

Traditional leaders in the area have refused to assist the family saying they feared they would also get bewitched.

His mother Gogo Gumbi (70) said word was going around their village that a certain allegedly powerful sangoma cast a spell on her son and turned him into a goblin.

The said sangoma cannot be named for ethical and legal reasons.

"Word is that my son is being kept in a granary by the biggest sangoma in our village who also doubles up as a powerful church leader here. There is nothing much that we can do but I want my son back," she said.

She said she would get closure if she knew where her son had been buried, if he had died.

"If he died, I would have closure if someone would show me his resting place. But I know that he is alive and some Satanic person is causing my family such pain," said Gogo Gumbi.

Amen Gumbi's brother, Tito Gumbi, said he could not go back to work in Durban, as there would be no one to remain with his aged mother who is a widow.

"I feel let down by the traditional leadership, which swept the issue under the carpet. We need them to investigate and establish if my brother is indeed a goblin being kept by a known person," said Tito.

"I have gone around the country and the people I have consulted said my brother was captured by a powerful man whose powers they cannot match. I therefore call upon all those that feel they are powerful to assist. I have cattle and I will pay them if my brother comes home," said Gumbi.

"The headman, Johnson Mabhena, and village head don't want to get involved. They called a meeting and did not turn up. Now they said they were going to call the chief, but still has not been consulted about our family matter. The village head last time told me that it was a family matter and I should deal with the family that's keeping my brother without involving him as he was scared of being bewitched too," he said.

SA Latest news crew visited the village head at his homestead and he maintained that he had to distance himself from the matter.

"This is very difficult because the man involved is a feared man and he has led to the downfall of many spiritual leaders who have tried to fight him. The community is divided on what should be done. Some suggested that we call prophets, however, other people do not want them.

"The problem is that we can call these prophets just for one case but they will end up exposing more people who are keeping their things and practising witchcraft without interfering with other villagers and it will not be fair. It is a fact; people keep all sorts of things and goblins. Who am I to start pointing fingers that so and so does such? It is none of my business," said the village head.

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