meat stumps bacteria boffins
August 16 2000 at 07:25PM
at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in Pretoria are baffled as to what
chunks of meat to glow and astound villagers in the Northern Province.
head Dr Maryke Henton said on Wednesday that this was the first case of its
she had investigated, and that something in either the meat or the salt used to cure it could have caused it to glow.
She said numerous bacteria had been found in the meat, but test results were expected only next week.
The meat was taken to the institute after the first case was reported two weeks ago.
police had taken it from an alarmed pensioner and handed it to Louis Trichardt
Dr Peter Loock, who sent it to Onderstepoort.
The pensioner had bought the meat after collecting her money at a pension payout point near Thohoyandou.
76, then rubbed salt in it and put in on her roof in Lwamondo village to cure.
That night it began to glow. She took it to the police because she was afraid she would be labelled a witch.
Last week, Jackson
Phalanndwa, 63, of Makhuvha village, also near Thohoyandou, had the same experience
fter buying two chunks of meat from separate butchers.
He salted the meat and put it on his roof, only to wake up at 3am and find it glowing. Police confiscated the meat.
begun speculating about omens, miracles and curses. Some say cattle owners might
methods to make stolen meat glow to frighten off robbers.
Others say sangomas
working for butchers make the meat glow if customers haven't settled their debt.
Scientists hope to reveal the truth next week. -