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A traditional healer has been rescued from the Sambandou mountains outside Thohoyandou after going missing almost a week ago while looking for herbs, Limpopo police said on Saturday.

Mpfunzeni Ramashia, 53, spent five days on the mountain as he had apparently fallen and become trapped in tree branches, said Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Ramashia and his friend Moris Sambo, 47, had gone to the Mphaphuli Nature Reserve on Sunday to look for traditional herbs.

“The two became separated after the victim allegedly told his friend that he wanted to speak to his ancestors alone. His friend managed to return home,” said Mojapelo.

When Ramashia had not returned, Sambo reported him missing the following day.

A search-and-rescue team comprising various officials, and led by Sambo, looked for him in the area on Wednesday.

The search continued on Thursday and they heard his faint screams down the mountain.

A police helicopter was summoned but could not get to him immediately because of bad weather.

Mojapelo said Ramashia could only be rescued on Friday and was clearly exhausted. He was taken to hospital, where he is recuperating.

Limpopo police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, commended the team for the rescue.

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