THE thwasa traditional ceremony began with singing and the burning of impepho on the river bank.
This was important as it would appease the ancestors as well as the river snake.
But two men did not want to be a part of the ritual.
They just walked into the river – and they drowned!
The tragedy unfolded at the Tikwe River in Virginia, Free State.
The bodies of the two men – a sangoma (27) and a teenager (18) – were recovered by police divers on Saturday morning.
It is reported that seven people from Thabong kasi went to the river on Friday afternoon.
Witness Molantoa Seroke told Daily Sun: “While we were busy appeasing the ancestors and the river snake on the river bank, two men could not wait.
“They decided to rush and entered the river. We tried to stop them, but they did not listen.
“The two men were drunk.
“This made the ancestors and the river snake angry.
“None of this would have happened if they had waited for us to finish the ritual.”
The thwasa and the gobela were not harmed.
Gobela Ivy Mahlatsane said: “The dead sangoma was my son.
“I tried to warn him to respect the river snake and the ancestors, but he was stubborn and drunk. Now he is dead.”
Captain Malebo Khosana said police divers were at the scene on Saturday morning and searched for the two bodies.
“An inquest docket was opened for investigation,” said Khosana.
The acting station commander of Virginia Police Station, Lieutenant-Colonel Thabo Coobi, warned community members to beware of the dangers of rivers.