Sangomas were in the middle of an important ritual in the river when three thugs disrupted them and held them at gunpoint.
However, the thugs got the shock of their lives when two of the sangomas pulled out guns and fought back.
The 16 sangomas and thwasas from Daveyton, Ekurhuleni were performing a ritual at a river in Cloverdene early yesterday morning when they were allegedly attacked.
Gobela Thoko Ndlangisa (51) said: “The thwasas were in the water when the suspects came out of nowhere.
“One of the thugs pointed a firearm at us.”
Thoko said the thugs were not expecting a fight, but they were mistaken. Two of the gobelas pulled out guns and started firing at them.
The thugs ran away, but Ntombekhaya Mfenyana (51) was not going to let them escape and gave chase.
“I wanted to make sure we caught at least one of them so we could take him to the cops. I was not afraid as it had to be done.
“We survived because of our guns,” she said.
She managed to catch one of the men and he was taken to Benoni Police Station.Thoko said during the incident she feared for the safety of the thwasas.
“The thugs told us never to come back to this river or we would die.“They even threatened to rape the youngest thwasa,” she said.
Thwasa Fihle Ndlangisa said: “This was one of the most important ceremonies of my life. Now we have to start over.”
Another sangoma said they could not be shot, as bullets flew past them.Police spokeswoman Captain Juanita Coetzee said cops were investigating a case of armed robbery.
One suspect was arrested and two are still at large.