"My Martha's 'dream of death'!" - Daily Sun

"'I think the ancestors were warning her not to go'" - front page lead, May 6 2015

Daily Sun (May 6 2015) - WHEN ZACHARIA heard his wife had dreamt about being swallowed by a snake fish, he pleaded with her to stay away from work.

But Martha still went to the dangerous old quarry to dig for charcoal.


“According to our culture, dreaming about the snake fish is a bad omen,” said Zacharia Mkhabela (56), the dead woman’s shocked husband.

“I was worried after she told me about her dream. I tried to warn her to stay at home but she insisted on going to fetch charcoal.”

He said on Friday night, the night of her bad dream, she had also been bitten by a rat above her eye, another bad omen.

“I think her dream was a warning from ancestors but she ignored it,” said 

On Saturday morning, Martha Sithole (35) took her tools and left their home in Everest, Springs, Ekurhuleni to dig for coal in an old mine in Benoni.

Martha sold the coal and used it for her braai business.

“That was the last time I saw her alive,” said Zacharia.

“I was contacted by one of her friends who told me that Martha had been buried by the charcoal mine sand and they were digging her out. I cried when I saw her body. I was with her in the morning and the next thing I heard, my wife was dead.”

According to sangoma Dumezweni Mahabuke, both the snake fish and being bitten by the rat were bad omens and should be taken very seriously.

An inquest docket has been opened.

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