Daily Sun (May 7 2015) - THERE WAS a time when the big tree was a place where the elders gathered and children played.
But these days people say the tree is cursed.
THEY CALL IT THE TREE OF DEATH – A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE KILL THEMSELVES.
Even Jack Manganye, the man who founded the village and after whom the village is named, hanged himself from the branches of the lonely tree on the hill.
Manganye Village is in Mmotong wa Perekisi, outside Polokwane, Limpopo. It was founded in 1996 by Manganye, who also became the traditional leader of the small village.
A villager, Albert Morapedi (25), told Daily Sun they were told by elders about two men who killed themselves about 15 years ago.
“The elders told us the families were so shaken by their sudden suicides they left the village,” said
Then Manganye hanged himself in 2012. His wife, Magdalene, said the family is very proud of him.
“He made his mark as a man we will remember and honour forever. He was the first person who lived here.
“He loved his community and he made sure the municipality gave services to his people,” she said.
Magdalene says the family have no idea why Manganye killed himself as he didn’t leave a suicide note.
Last year Daily Sun ran the story of Thomas Baloyi, who killed his wife and then went to the tree to kill himself.
The tree is just a short distance from the nearest houses. Jane Lamola, another community member (52), told Daily Sun that before people started killing themselves at the tree, they used to hold their kgoro there to sort out community issues.
“But now people are afraid to even go anywhere near it,” said Jane.
“These suicides are scaring us and we ask ourselves who is next. We think the spirit of death is roaming around this area.”
She said they even think the ancestors are warning them about something that is still about to happen.
“We are worried something we know nothing about will happen any day.”
John Mohale (30) said they want to cut the tree down but they are too scared.
“There are a few graves near the tree and we don’t know what will happen if we take the tree away,” he said.
The current headwoman, Lydia Moholola, said: “The people have suggested chopping down the tree because of the bad things happening there but the royal council can’t allow this.
“We can’t blame the tree for these things.”
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