At least 30 maidens were injured during a stampede at this year’s Umkhosi Womhlanga at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s Enyokeni Royal Palace in Nongoma.
The drama happened during the first leg of the event as the king was addressing the maidens.
Suddenly a group of maidens said they were seeing strange things in the air which were trying to catch into them. The incident triggered a rush among the crowd.
The injured were taken to a nearby clinic. Five of them were treated while 25 others were transferred to St Benedictine Hospital. Witnesses claim the stampede was caused by six glamorous yellow-bone maidens who were suspected of being Satanists.
One of the maidens’ matrons, Bukani Mdunge (65) told the People’s Paper that she and other matrons had earlier suspected the six of being Satanists. This because they were wearing dark glasses and T-shirts with pictures of dagga leaves on them.
“We were shocked and confused about what to do. This is the first time such a thing has happened and we didn’t know how to deal with it,” said Bukani.
She said most of the girls who were injured had travelled with her from Esikhawini, near Empangeni.
The drama caused a big delay in the annual event. Instead of going straight into the Zulu dance as customary, organisers called priests from various churches to hold a mass prayer for the injured girls.
The demons struck again during the king’s address! Cops formed a human wall between guests and maidens who came running towards the podium shouting that they were seeing strange things again.
The king’s spokesman, Prince Thulani Zulu, said all the maidens except one who was seriously injured have been released from hospital.