TEN years ago, madala Johannes Thabethe (75) got a small snake as a pet – but now the snake has turned into a monster that rules his life.

The madala from Mogogelo, Tshwane, told Daily Sun that the snake eats his food and drinks his mqombothi.

“It even unscrews my water drum and drinks the water!” said the man who is known as Madala Pongolo in his kasi.

Madala Johannes Thabethe

His neighbour, Elizabeth Simango, told Daily Sun that the madala has to get up early in the morning to catch frogs and shoot birds to feed the snake.

Elizabeth said years ago they went to Johannes’ house and saw the snake on the sofa. “But it was small then and nothing to be scared of,” she said.

She said they haven’t seen the snake since then.

Johannes lives in a mud house that is falling apart. He showed the SunTeam the hole through which Busisiwe, the snake, moves in and out of the house. The sand floor has huge cracks as if something moves around underground.

“I have elevated my bed up with bricks and covered it with a net out of fear of the snake,” said the madala.

According to Pongolo, the snake is now so big that he never sees its head but only its body.

Two donkeys in the area were found dead and community members believe they died of snake bite. The owner of the yard where the madala lives allegedly fled his home because he fears the snake.

“The SPCA came but they couldn’t catch the snake,” Elizabeth said.

The community hopes Pongolo will get an RDP, but a ward committee member said it would be useless to build him a house if the snake is still there.

“It will move in with him,” she said.

– Daily Sun

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