Here is an ad for a Sangoma I found on Vottle. It is quite similar to those I’ve been handed at robots:

I am a spiritual and fortune teller sangoma l can help you in all problems like
-l can bring back your lost lover
-make your lover marry you and be yours for ever
-all pregnacy problem \
-work promation
-recover your lost,stolen proparty
-safe adortion
-remove tokoloshe
-l can make you see your enemies
-if your lover is cheating you come l help you get him/her in action -if you have a court case l will help you
-Aids/HIV patients l will handle that
-low libido
-finacial problems
-to use bujibuji ngazi medicine
-if you want to bind your lover
-l too have sandawana oil please come and see your miracle.
call me on 0768388305 call problems can be solved with in a week. 

Those offering abortions should at the very least be able to spell it. This is scary shit! What can be done? Is there some legal recourse?

Doubt you have any legal recourse on an ad alone, they’re not making a claim that they can actually cure aids - which one could have then called false advertising, and they use the word “help” which can be construed that patients “might” be referred to registered institutions for some of the complaints.

Keep in mind that UJ and Wits offer degreed courses to become a bona-fide sangoma these days (think its a four year course).

Scary stuff nontheless.

Damn, it’s worse than I thought! We have to do something…

You could lodge a consumer complaint at the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA). We suggest on the grounds of unsubstantiated claims in the advertisement. If you do, remember to include your SA ID number, a copy of the advertisement (you can save a copy from your browser or do a screendump to TIFF format, although the ASA prefers PDFs), and five or six claims you allege to be unsubstantiated. It won’t cost you anything except the time to prepare your complaint, and rulings can take up to eight weeks to be made.

However, note that if the advert is hosted on a server outside SA’s borders, then the ASA does not have jurisdiction and won’t address your complaint.

For what it’s worth, we think it is something that should be done, assuming it’s a SA server (know nothing about “Vottle” & too lazy to check :stuck_out_tongue: ). While it is a tedious and thankless task, this is one area where sceptics can make an active contribution.


Keep in mind that UJ and Wits offer degreed courses to become a bona-fide sangoma these days
Fist I thought this is the beginning of the end for Wits, the country and western civilisation. Then I remembered that (the Afrikaans churches at least) the domenie got himself a university degree as well.

Well, they also happen to offer degree/diploma courses in chiropractic and homoeopathy, so the sangoma thing is just a logical extension of the bad medicine thingy. Plus, when you’re an erstwhile first class, once-upon-a-time internationally acknowledged centre of tertiary educational excellence and have fallen from grace in a short matter of about a decade-and-a-half, it makes perfect business sense to cater to local tastes even if it means sacrificing a little bit of intellectual integrity, doesn’t it? Because you are, when all’s said and done, a business enterprise.


Thanks for the suggestion Mefiante, I think it’s a great idea and I’ll keep it in mind. But, as tempting as it may be, I won’t be reporting the Scientologists who stuff my mailbox with “destressing” pamphlets simply because they are well practised at designing their adverts so that they aren’t actually making any measurable claims. I’d be swatted by away like some irrelevant miggie. And how would I even begin to define a metric for “destressing” that is specific to the way that the Scilons do it?

I suppose the lesson here is to choose your target carefully, and to have the information available to defend yourself if need be? Is the burden of proof on the plaintiff or the defendant in these matters?


Er, no. All you really need to do is to point out what you think are unsubstantiated and/or misleading claims, and possibly why you think them misleading and/or unsubstantiated. The ASA takes the stance that because he or she made a positive claim to begin with, the advertiser has the onus of proof. The ASA requires substantiation by independent and credible sources. If, for example, the scientology flyers claim that their practices de-stress people, then they must be able to show appropriate studies to corroborate this, and those studies must have been conducted by an authority that is not aligned with the CoS.

(Not Kirstie Alley.)

Eh…eh…eh…Ay, Beavis …


Thanks, it makes far more sense when you put it that way. I had the right stick, but the wrong end.


Eh…eh…eh…Ay, Mintaka …

Thanks for the idea, it’s definitely a start. I’ll see if I can get one of the pamphlets again, I seem to remember an address being on the last one.

I’d like to do more though, it should be illegal to perform advanced medical procedures without the right training.

Here’s the pamphlet I was handed the other day.

I’ve got a feeling producers of the Tv programme “Taboo” would have a feast in South Africa ::slight_smile:

Probably, but this is not just a cultural thing. These are scientifically verifiable claims being made!

Not to mention potentially dangerous.

Check it out! It’s like a woo franchise, except in Sandton a consultation costs R200 :wink:

Anyone know what’s actually in this “Masai Gel” anyway?

Also, I wonder if one of these guys would let us film these enemies in the mirror. Anyone willing to back me up? I’m not going on my own. (Thinking there might be drugs involved. ;D)