"It is a tokoloshe"

A hand that resembles that of a human being. The nails that look like those of a person are clearly visible.

Date:

11 May 2012

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A strange animal with fingers like a human being has put a Tshauli-Tshamahala family in a spin. After its discovery on the roof of the family's house on Monday, everyone is a bit restless and no one is able to explain the identity of this queer animal.

"It is a tokoloshe," said one resident and other villagers harped on the same string. The fact that it was found on the roof in the wee hours of the morning strengthened the belief that it was a tokoloshe, sent by enemies of the family to cast a spell on them.

According to eyewitnesses, the animal has fingers like a person and it also has genitals like those of a human being.

Takalani Ramadzhiela, a family member, said he was called by his brother at around 01:00 and told that there was some strange movement on the roof of the house. "I did not waste time and rushed to the house, which is not very far from my home. I thought it was perhaps one of the cats or animals that we are used to, but what awaited me was frightening. [We found] an animal that has features like a human being. I have never seen such an animal," he said.

Ramadzhiela said that, as it was still dark, they did not want the animal to run away, so they had to guard it until the morning, with the help of the community. "We struggled to get it off the roof, but it resisted and I was left with no choice but to hit it with a stone on the head and it died," he said.

Ramadzhiela says the family does not have answers as to what exactly the strange visitor is. "All the people here are saying that it is a tokoloshe, but I cannot say that, because I know one is not allowed to speak of witchcraft. You can write what the people say. I believe in God and I have hope that God will give us all the answers. If it is the work of a person, he must be disappointed, because we captured it before it could cause any harm," he said.

Ramadzhiela did not want to confirm whether they had consulted traditional healers. "What we did is a secret and we cannot tell the public. I just know that we threw the animal away in a river," he said.

The local headman, Phineas Ndou, said he was busy sending a child off to school when he was attracted by a huge crowd that had gathered at the scene. "We cannot tell what this animal is, but it is not the first time that I have seen this type of creature. In 1998, my brother killed a similar animal in another village. This is the first of its kind here and we cannot tell why it was here.  What I can confirm, is that it has genitals like a human being. There has been talk of a mysterious being going around, and we are not surprised to see people happy that it had been killed. Maybe it has something to do with the lives of the people," he said.

Well-known traditional healer Vhomaine Vho Mbilivhili Neluvhola said the family should not panic. "If they are Christians, they should just pray and God will protect them if this is the act of a person. If they believe in their ancestors, they should visit a traditional healer who will perform rituals and the family will be safe," he said. Neluvhola said it could have been sent by the ancestors as an indication that one of the family members will become a traditional healer.

Meanwhile, it is not known where the creature ended up as the family could not shed any light on its whereabouts. Rumour has it that women are celebrating in the village, saying that now that the creature is dead, perhaps their husbands will start giving them the attention they deserve.

(The photos where shown to some animal experts and the most plausible explanation is that the animal is a thick-tailed bushbaby. These are fairly endangered. - Editor)

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Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.

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