A young man who had been mistakenly identified as a wizard after he was found stark naked in the early hours of Friday by some Mpopoma residents, is actually a mental health patient who had been missing for some days, a relative has confirmed.
The man whose identity and age could not be immediately ascertained reportedly went missing from his Matshobane home on Tuesday evening.
He surfaced in Mpopoma on Friday morning after some residents thought they had intercepted a wizard.
A one minute video, which has since gone viral on social media, shows the naked young man seated on a blue plastic chair carrying a sweeping broom while being interrogated by some unidentified men.
Ward 9 Councillor, Donaldson Mabutho confirmed the incident to CITE.
“I was called by the caretaker of Gutaramwari church at around 12 midnight as he said he had identified a young man whom we suspected was a wizard,” said Cllr Mabutho.
“The young man had said he was coming from Nyamandlovu and was on an unspecified mission with three other friends.”
However, a family member, Nokuthula Ndlovu, had already launched an online appeal seeking information on the whereabouts of the young man.
“We last saw him on Tuesday in Matshobane around 8 pm when he went out outside and we thought he was using the toilet,” she told the publication.
“We have however located him, we were called by the West Commonage Police Station.”
The Founder and Director of African Institute for Ending Bullying, Depression and Suicide (AFRIBS), Zenani Masuku says there is a need for communities to identify the signs and symptoms of people with mental health challenges.
“People need to understand issues of mental health, what it entails and where one can find help. There is a need to be sensitive about these issues,” said Masuku.
“Such stories are the reason why a lot of people prefer suffering in silence in fear of what people will say in regards to their illness or fear of being labelled.”
Masuku said people must openly talk about mental illness and seek medical treatment early.
“We hope that more and more people can be open to talk about mental health and learn the signs and symptoms so that they can seek medical treatment early and get assistance from clinical psychologists or psychiatrist.
“People need to understand that mental illness can be caused by genetics, environment, childhood traumas, economic factors among other causes. Triggers are so many and the only way anyone can get help and be their old self again is through clinical treatment not by any other means,” she said.