13 Family Members Die From Poison Herbs Taken in South African Traditional Ritual

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Thirteen members of the same family, including a two-week-old infant, have been found dead in their home after apparently taking herbal medicine, the South African Press Association said Monday.

The report said the Mazubane family was taking part in a traditional ritual over the weekend and may have taken the wrong herbs by mistake.

"It is alleged that one family member who was trained as a traditional healer gave them a certain herbal medicine which is suspected to have been the cause of the deaths," SAPA quoted police spokeswoman Zandra Wiid as saying.

She said it was believed that a 17-year-old family member, a trainee traditional healer, had administered the deadly concoction.

"We don't know what the purpose was for taking it, or if the family had been sick at the time," Wiid said.

Many South Africans use herbal medicine and consult traditional healers in addition to Western style doctors.