If a traditional healer asks you to do something that sounds, feels or looks weird, stay away. That's according to Kuke Mahlaba, a traditional healer with the African National Healers' Association.
"A traditional healer heals," she told HuffPost SA. There are others, however, who misuse their gifts.
Mahlaba is worried that there are too many scams that people are falling for because of these so-called healers. "It's pure witchcraft," she believes.
The healer gave HuffPost SA her thoughts on outrageous acts that have allegedly been performed to gain wealth or luck, all in the name of traditional healing.
Her advice: "Report it to the police immediately."
1. The promise of riches through sleeping with a corpse
Mahlaba believes death goes with darkness. "How can darkness give you luck?"
The healer explained that this is why, upon a burial -- especially in black communities -- family members wash with water. "They are literally washing off the darkness that death brings.
"We use animals and plants as part of the healing process -- so to hear that people sleep with [corpses] is shocking."
2. The promise to cure HIV by sleeping with a virgin
Mahlaba says there are people who, shockingly, still believe this.
"We also need to use common sense. How will that heal you? There is still no cure for the virus, not from science or traditional healing."
These myths, she believes, lead to false hope and unnecessary crime such as sexual abuse.
3. The promise of wealth through body parts from human children or people living with albinism
Mahlaba has expressed surprise at people who think human body parts are drivers of wealth. "A person's body is the temple of God. He [God] has given us plenty of animals and plants that we can use for healing, not [human] body parts."
The healer has also cautioned against untrue stories about people living with albinism. "We grew up hearing they don't die or get buried, that there is something supernatural about them, but it's not true."
No human being, regardless of the pigmentation of their skin, has supernatural powers.
4. The promise of riches: 'Give me your money and I will triple it'
"We hear these scams every day; yet, people still fall for them."
She believes people easily get scammed because they are in desperate situations. Others, however, want quick riches through any means possible.
"Again, common sense. How can a human being magically triple your money? You must invest it properly."