Burn the ‘witch’

other contributors bannerTalianah Breet

The complacency of the average human being when it comes to human suffering baffles me completely. Clearly it’s okay that babies are being burned to death over accusations of witchcraft. Well it must be, because so far very few people have communicated horror over what has been happening.

It is getting to the point where my neighbour can accuse me of being a witch and the entire community can burn me to death AND IT’S OKAY, because hey, witches are evil, right? No evidence, no reasoning, but an accusation is all that is needed to pass and execute a death sentence on me.

The SAHRC (that’s the South African Human Rights Commission) doesn’t really see this sort of thing as a human rights abuse. Interesting, isn’t it? The very Commission responsible for educating the rest of the country in what is and is not acceptable is basically condoning the mass murder of innocent women and children because their feet feel like dragging. I mean, let’s be reasonable – they’re tired, right? They work very hard. Lets just sweep some of these issues under the rug and turn a blind eye, and hopefully, by the time they get around to them, all the problems will have just disappeared. They probably will – when society has run out of men, women and children to burn, hack, stone and stab to death.

Ever seen a person burn to death? Well, I just had the privilege of watching it. It’s a very slow death, with the victims not even having the strength to pull themselves out of the flames. Well of course they didn’t – their loving, caring neighbours had beaten them over the head a few times, and in any case, even if they had had the strength, those same “caring” people, just pushed them back in. After kicking and beating them first.

Hey, the other day, these people went to a village, claiming to be preachers of the “Gospel”. Look, one of them said, your child has a demon. Horrors. Quickly, give me money, and I’ll exorcise it. After all, a labourer must be paid for his hire. What, you don’t have money? No problem! Kill the child. It’s EVIL.Only three years old? Too bad – evil must be stamped out. And do it quickly, I see another demon over there . . . .

Maybe the SAHRC has a point. It is every person’s right to practice whatever religion he or she feels the urge to practice. And if murdering children is a part of that religion, well, we cannot interfere in his or her constitutional right to do so.

We live in a country where rape is a joke, women abuse is seen as the man’s prerogative, top quality medical care for the perpetrators of crime is the norm, prisoners have more rights than productive members of the community, child rape now has it’s own statistic, and religious fear mongering is a constitutional right. Why should being burnt to death by fanatical crowds be seen as a human rights abuse? They are only practicing their beliefs after all.

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