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Spencer's pilgrimage to a mud hut meeting with Diana's witchdoctor; EARL HAD TO HOLD BACK THE TEARS AS HE WAS GIVEN PRINCESS'S LOVEBEAD PRESENT.

LONELY Earl Spencer has held an amazing meeting with a witch-doctor in the African bush as part of a personal quest to find the truth about himself and Diana.

The Princess had sought out 22-stone Credo Mutwa as she struggled for a meaning in her life. She was so impressed that she had arranged to travel to meet him after she finally found love with Dodi Fayed.

And as the Earl still tries to comes to terms with his sister's death he held a one-hour meeting last Saturday with 75-year-old Credo which left him near to tears.

Their soul-baring talks ended with Credo handing the Earl the 800-year- old lovebeads he had planned to give to Diana when she and Dodi were due to visit him in September.

"I felt he needed help and support in his life," said Credo, a highly- respected spiritualist and faith healer, who has been consulted by South African president Nelson Mandela and other world leaders.

"I told him the great things that his little sister did and he was very quiet."

Diana had found out about Credo and his amazing powers when she met Nelson Mandela during her visit to South Africa in March. And she was determined to consult him.

"I was stunned when I got her call," said Credo from his home on the Shamwari Game Reserve, near Port Elizabeth. "But the more I listened, the more I realised she needed help."

Diana was so impressed by his magical powers that she pleaded with him to "cast the bones" - ancient bones of lions, leopards and elephants that help see into the future. They were handed down from Shaka, the Zulu warrior king who fought the British.

"She wanted to know about her future," said Credo, who called Diana little sister. "What I saw in the bones for her was both wonderful and terrifying.

"It scared the stuffing out of me. First, I saw great happiness for her. She would meet and fall in love with a foreigner. I saw she would leave Britain after they married and she would come to live for part of the year in South Africa."

"But one of the bones that came up was a 'battleaxe' that showed a terrible weapon of destruction was poised upon her.

"I saw she would die a terrible death, before her happiness would be fulfilled," he added. "But I could not tell her. How could I?"

In the months before she died Diana developed a great interest in spiritualism and was trying to arrange meetings with a group of like- minded people in London.

A close friend said: "She believed in re-incarnation and life after death. She held great hopes of being able to speak to her dead father.

"Diana often talked about it. She was convinced she would come back again as another human being."

Earl Spencer had no idea of his sister's talks with Credo or their letters to each other until he made the 800-mile trip to Shamwari with his children...but without new girlfriend, TV producer Bonnie Rodini.

"I wanted to see him because he was visiting Shamwari," said Credo. "I wanted to comfort him because it is an African courtesy to console those who have lost someone precious in their life.

"It was not a matter of reassuring him, just talk between human beings.

"His eyes had fire in them, and I did not want to ignite them."

The Earl was greeted by a tribe of bare-breasted dancers before he was led into Credo's mud-hut which was filled with pungent smoke from sage lavender and elephant grass.

Credo bestowed upon the Earl a new Zulu name, Umhlophe Ingwe which means the fair skinned leopard.

The Earl also went away with magic powders from a pharmacy at Credo's village to protect people who drive and to ward off evil spirits from his home.

Credo has kept many details of his contact with Diana and the Earl a secret. But he said: "The person I saw was a good man. He is like Diana, only he doesn't have her golden hair.

"He looks like an artist, he's got a very sensitive mouth but I wouldn't like to stand in his way when he gets really angry."

Earl Spencer was alone when he went in for the emotional meeting with Credo, who is due to meet President Clinton this summer in South Africa. He had left behind Bonnie. Credo said he still feels guilty that he never told Diana all of what the bones said. "I am certain she was psychic," he said. "The spirit of the beautiful one is crying out to be heard. She was about to tell the world something very important."

Strangely, his high priestess Nobela Alahuma had a premonition of Diana's death.

"She started screaming and rolling on the ground saying, 'The Princess has gone'," said Credo. "Minutes later we heard the terrible news of her death.

"I was so stunned my knees just went to water. It was one of the most traumatic moments of my life."

When Credo, the high-priest of the Zulu nation, casts the bones he dresses in ceremonial garments of a purple robe over a smock and jeans with a 56-inch waist.

On his feet he wears a pair of old World War II-style boots topped with a mitre made from the skin of a white goat. But despite his odd appearance his prophecies are taken with deadly seriousness.

Credo said he hoped to make his own memorial to Diana, whose name in African is Danu which means true woman or goddess

"I want to make a sculpture of Princess Diana hugging a sick person suffering from AIDS," he said. "Before I get too weak I want to get a piece of land and build a shrine dedicated to black and white women who have done great things in this world but who have never been honoured.

"She should be given the Nobel Prize for what she did."

Diana and Dodi were due to visit Shamwari just two weeks after the Paris crash in which they died. There was a room booked with a four-poster bed in the pounds 524 a night Pretoria Suite at the secluded Shamwari Lodge complex.

Chef Christopher Kane had even planned a special African menu for their stay, including the traditional Kudu Wellington, venison wrapped in pastry.

She and Dodi were going to be involved in the making of a film, Mambo, about children struggling to save an elephant from a cull.

The Sunday Mirror revealed last year that Credo was due to appear in the movie along with Gene Hackman and Embeth Davitz from Schindler's List. Dodi was going to invest in the pounds 20million film.

Mambo producer Gordon Thomas confirmed Credo's meeting with the Earl. "Credo greeted him, gave him various gifts then led Spencer into the hut," he said. "I reckon Spencer was with Credo for an hour. I'd love to have listened in."

Shamwari's managing director Danie Malan said: "The Earl's visit was strictly private."

Last week Bonnie was just as coy saying she and Spencer were just planning to work together "and that's it".

Bonnie, with her long dark hair and model looks is said to be a lookalike for most of his other girlfriends and his ex-wife Victoria. They were introduced by Josie Borain, the single mum he used to date.

Bonnie was married to American actor Kevin Otto and has lived in America. A friend who has seen her with Spencer said: "They seemed to me to be very much an item."

The couple have been seen several times at a TV complex in Cape Town where she had an office until recently.

Bonnie, a former ballet dancer, produced inserts for South African TV.

Josie Borain consoled Spencer when Diana died and went to London with him for her funeral.

"I suppose you can say that we are still friends, but that is all," she said.

"I do see him from time to time when it suits me, but not very often. I am not interested in their relationship or anything else about them.

"If Charles is considering marriage so soon after his divorce he obviously has not learned his lesson."
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Author:Sherwood, Deborah
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 18, 1998
Words:1374
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