ANNEBELL SANDER. In today’s society one would dare to hope for some level of acceptance and intelligence that I am sorry to say, doesn’t exist. Barberton, Mpumalanga is today, just as any other day a peaceful, beautiful little town with a rich history dating back many years. The community seems accepting and accommodating to most that visit or just pass through. This however changed drastically for a member of this community, due to suspicions, jealousy and plain ignorance.
Penton Independent Alternative Media Blog
DAMON LEFF. Occultists in South Africa, including Witches, Pagans and Satanists, are alarmed by news that the South African Police Services will be reconstituting ‘Occult-related crime’ units, and with good reason. The investigative mandate for the establishment of new provincial Occult-related Crime Units (ORC), in particular certain ‘categories of crime’ listed in a recently leaked SAPS Investigation support capacity memorandum, contradict internationally recognized jurisprudence in the identification and verification of demonstrable evidence. The law requires that evidence must not be based on opinion, belief or untested hearsay, but on provable facts alone.
BRONWYN KATZKE. According to Rt. Reverend Mynie Geldenhuys, President of the Pagan Federation of South Africa, “The previous Occult Unit under Kobus Jonker never proved a single case of Witchcraft related crime”. She explains that the cases investigated by the previous ORCU turned out to be crimes committed for mundane reasons that were tried under common law. For this reason Mynie believes that there is no reason for a ORCU. “In my opinion, all reported complaints and cases under investigation by SAP, be they perpetrated by people following an occult path or not, should be dealt with according to the criminal law. If deliberate harm is caused by one person to another, then it is a Criminal Act and has nothing to do with an individual’s belief system.”
NATHALIE BEULAH. With misrepresented reports in the media lately with regards to the Occult, Witchcraft and so-called ‘African Witchcraft’, SAPRA (South African Pagan Rights Alliance) has really had their hands full. This is not the first time these types of reports have appeared in the news spotlight and it more than likely will not be the last. The latest onslaught of media attention seemed to have started with a small article about a mutilated rabbit’s body found in the Edenvale area. Without proper investigation, fingers were suddenly pointed at “African Witchcraft” as the culprit. Our country was then shocked by the killings at Lonmin’s Marikana Mines, where 44 people lost their lives, 34 during police action. Once again fingers were pointed towards “African Witchcraft”.
MORGAUSE FONTELEVE. A renowned Theosophist, Leadbeater, said that when people begin to think, they invariably begin to doubt. Mainstream religion by its very nature, does not empower their faithful with the right to reason but promotes incomprehensible and irrational dogma, belief in which is mandatory and which then leads to “criticism of” and “intolerance towards” anything that is different and unknown. The Unknown is still viewed with superstition and fear. Pagans are no different. When many convert to Paganism, they bring these doubts and undermining tendencies with them. Unless we shake off the old superstitions and embrace within ourselves the “Higher Knowledge” of what lies hidden in the sacred sanctuary of the human Soul, we will continue to stumble in the dark and miss out on the purpose and meaning of living.
FRANCISCO FUMAROLA. How do we even begin to debunk the years of accumulated nonsense and propaganda against Satanism, Occultism and Witchcraft in South Africa? The fact remains, all the information is already out there and available to anyone with a desire to seek it out and determine the truth for themselves. The phenomenon of Satanic Panic has been thoroughly examined and largely debunked in diverse academic fields including Anthropology, History, Sociology and Folklore. The FBI investigated claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the conclusion was made that the evidence was lacking. There was no evidence found of wide-spread satanic conspiracy or vast organized satanic cults perpetuating crimes or ritual abuse.
DAMON LEFF. What generally passes for so-called expert academic opinion on anything related to Witchcraft in this country is most often simply regurgitated and non-factual propaganda, and Dr Theodore Petrus’ recently published comments in the Port Elizabeth’s Weekend Post on Traditional African religions, Witchcraft and Satanism, are a choice example of this propaganda. Dr. Petrus appears to dismiss the relevance of an existing religious minority that identifies Witchcraft as their religion, a modern Pagan religion that finds its origins in entirely European folk-lore and pre-Christian ‘pagan’ cultures.
BRONWYN KATZKE. This past weekend lamp posts around Port Elizabeth bore posters with “POLICE ‘VAMPIRE’ UNIT RETURNS” emblazoned in bold print. A tacky headline worthy of any tabloid rag; or so one would think. However this was for, what I am told, is a leading journalistic paper for the Port Elizabeth area- The Weekend Post (under the flagship of PE The Herald). And if you thought the headline was sensationalized, then just wait until you read the body of the piece.