Many Village boozers used to love their umqombothi but now are afraid even to touch it! They believe a serial killer is on the loose, poisoning beer!
Four people reportedly have died after drinking umqombothi in Kasibhejane, near Komatipoort in Mpumalanga. Nine others survived but got violently ill.
Nkanyezi Sibiya (54) died after boozing at a drinking hole last month. His mum Samaria Sibiya (75) said he came home vomiting. “He told us he drank a poisoned brew and we rushed him to the clinic. They transferred him to hospital, where he died.”
Amos Mhlongo (39) also returned home with white foam coming from his mouth and nose. Wife Zodwa Khoza (31) told Daily Sun: “He avoided drinking holes where people got sick and kept a watchful eye on his booze. But the killer finally got to him. He got home weak, vomiting violently. We rushed him to hospital, where he died. I want his death to be investigated.”
Esther Ngomane (69) said her daughter Sindile Sandlane (32) died in January after a drink.
Aaron Mhlongo (57) said he survived the poison last month. He felt sick after a few sips of the brew and decided to go home. “I think vomiting saved my life.”
Annah Sibiya (60) said she and other brewers in the village have been burgled at night. She suspected the burglar put poison in the beer left overnight to ferment. “I have bought a burglar door and now none of my customers have become sick.
“I suspect whoever is behind this is trying to eliminate the competition.”
Siboshwa Tribal Authority held a meeting last Sunday to discuss the issue, but Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said no reports of mysterious deaths have been brought to the police’s attention.