Nestled between skyscrapers in Cape Town’s city centre, a group of people wearing sacks flog their wares on the bustling pavement.
Unlike many other hawkers, they aren’t selling cheap Chinese imports, but medicinal herbs, roots and plants.
Barefoot and clad in hessian, the Sakmanne, or Sackcloth People, live in caves on Table Mountain but venture down daily to trade at the city’s markets and railway station.
They are an offshoot of the Rastafarian culture, have renounced material possessions and live off the vegetation they forage on the mountain. They also smoke dagga regularly, especially before prayers.
Neatly displayed on a blanket on the pavement are herbal remedies selling from about R20 to R60. They include buchu, mountain garlic and red carrot to treat conditions ranging from cancer to high blood pressure.
Zebelon, 24, says the Sackcloth People have the same bloodline as the “Khoisan of ancient days”.
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