An Interview with an ‘Occult Crime Unit’ Detective
By Dorothy Klopper
Edited by Bronwyn Katzke
It is 11h30 on a Friday morning. As I sit at the dining room table drinking my cup of coffee, I wonder how my meeting is going to turn out. Today I am meeting with one of the top ranking officers in the Occult Related Crime Unit of the South African Police Services.
My wondering was interrupted by a knock on the door and a pleasant looking man stood in the doorway of my home with a smile on his face. The Witch meets the Officer! There was an instant liking to this man, and I trust my instincts. I felt the nervousness dissipate as he introduced himself to me. [The name of the Detective has been with-held at his request.]
As we sat talking, I brought out a guideline of questions and asked him whether he would mind me asking some pertinent questions; questions that have been requiring answers from SAPS for some time now. The questions, as I explained to him, are specifically related to his division of the SAPS, the gist of which were contained in the South African Pagan Rights Alliance’s objection to the Occult-related Crime Unit (ORCU). The blank look on his face amazed me. “What questions? Would you mind if I took a look at them?” Passing them over to him, I carefully watched his reaction. It was clear he was unaware of the Pagan and Occult communities’ concerns. Hmm, if they didn’t reach him, then where have they landed up? We both agreed that the questions are valid and SAPRA and the broader Occult and Pagan communities are entitled to answers.
But now I faced a dilemma; I couldn’t base my meeting with him on the questions. So I asked my guides to lead me and to explain as to why it is so important that these questions be answered. My guides definitely delivered with an interesting day!
The first thing that came out of his mouth was that he is a devout Christian. My response was “that’s wonderful – it is good to have faith, I also have some wonderful Christian friends. They understand what I do and what I am. They also know very well that I draw the line should they want to start preaching to me about my chosen path.” It must have worked, as he never tried to convert me.
As the conversation progressed I explained Paganism to him. I explained about thanking all living things for giving their lives for our sustenance, using a tomato as an example. Explaining to him that the tomato has given its life for me to eat and thanking it brought a smile to his face. I could see that even though he was slightly stumped the understanding was there. We both looked outside onto my garden and agreed that nature is life and that all life is sacred. It made for a great introduction to the life of a Witch.
Our conversation became serious after I had explained the Wiccan Rede to him: “Do what ye will, but harm ye none”. We discussed spellwork, meditation, Reiki, other holistic healing methods and the life of a Witch in general.
He was amazed that my cats all came to say hello to him and I was pleasantly surprised to find that he is a cat lover himself. I showed my altar to him, explaining what the different tools were used for, especially my athame as I believe that might have looked a bit sinister to him. It was really wonderful to see that he had a real interest in what I was saying and explaining, as this was all new to him. In his opinion the word Witch meant ‘EVIL,’ but that opinion was changing?
After our chat and explanation of Witchcraft, I believe that he began to see that the Occult has many different aspects. A wonderful discussion followed when we discussed my helping the SAPS with certain cases, as well as the Pink Ladies in looking for missing people. He was totally in awe of how a Witch could be of help to the SAPS. My response was easy, “I use the gifts bestowed upon me by the Goddess only for the good of all.”
This then led to the big question: “So you are not a Satanist?” I answered no, I am not, explaining that I believe the South African Constitution allows for freedom of religion which means that if I wanted to believe in and serve a piece of glass in the shape of a vase, this would be my right under the constitution. Great, we both agreed on that one.
So I asked him “Then why the Witch-hunts? Should you not be investigating the crime and not the religion? As you have seen and heard today not all practising occultists commit crime, just like many Christians do commit crimes, so why investigate the religion and not the crime?”
We then went into the topic of muti murders, which are unfortunately common in Africa and South Africa. I personally have been involved in looking for some missing children who have been found murdered, with genitals and eyes removed. Yes, this is the work of a traditional healer, however not ALL traditional healers work in this way. Many traditional healers that I personally know only work with the indigenous plants, roots and leaves of the natural medicine that nature has provided us.
Therefore, let us rather look at the crime/s
- Child Abductions.
- Child Murders.
- Body Mutilation.
- Illegal trading in body parts.
By all means, investigate the crime, but please don’t blame it on Witchcraft or the Occult.
Should a murder take place, like the farm killings in South Africa today – do you blame it on Witchcraft? When there is a hijacking, or bank robbery – is this also because of Witchcraft? The discussion held and the officer agreed that whether the crime was committed by Satanists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists or an adherent of any religion, they needed to investigate the crime and not the religion.
We had an interesting discussion on the different religions and I must say that I pointed out to him that only Christians believe in Satan, besides Satanists themselves. I also pointed out to him that Witches do not recruit and that we believe every person should have the right to choose their own path.
To finish off, we both had a good giggle when he told me that he was supposed to bring backup with him that day as they knew he was going to see a Witch. He also had to advise his people of my address, just in case he disappeared.
Time flew by and before we both knew it, it was 18h30 in the evening! With the day well spent and much progress made, we said our goodbyes. The officer has taken a copy of my interview questions with him, and promised to take it up with the head of the ORCU, Supt. Attie Lampbrecht.
With the day done, it left me with some time to reflect on my meeting with this Occult-Related Crime detective. Thinking back, I feel that the greatest achievement made was the agreement that the ORCU (and by extension, SAPS) is not equipped to investigate any possible crimes until they have had the necessary training by someone who knows and understands the occult – in his words – “we need someone who is practising the occult and/or witchcraft in the way you do to make us understand that it is not all bad, and that there are bad apples in every religion.” He also confirmed with conviction that the crime is to be punished and not the religion as a whole and jokingly ended off by saying that many Christians are in fact jailed for crimes, whereupon I replied, “I rest my case your honour”.
To end off, I would like to thank him for being here and listening to what I had to say; for understanding that the South African Government and most of the world’s monotheistic governments should protect other religions through their respective constitutions. I trust that he will keep his word and get the relevant questions to where they need to be so those questions regarding the ORCU can be put to rest, and we can move forward to a new chapter. I also trust that he is able to get the message across that religious practice, no matter what it may be, is a personal choice that shouldn’t be investigated by SAPS. A crime however should be investigated for what it is: a crime!