Category: Beneath the Baobab – Bronwyn Katzke

The Spider and I

BRONWYN KATZKE. Yesterday I did what I normally do in the afternoon- bring the laundry in from off the wash-line. I reach for a shirt, and there is a spider that has spun a delicate web between it and another shirt. Grabbing a small stick, I carefully pick it off its web and place it on a branch. See, I’m not scared of spiders. Getting to the final bit of laundry, I unpeg a long black skirt off the line and drape it over my arm. Out the corner of my eye I notice something large and greyish rubbing against me. I think nothing of it. As I plop the skirt in the laundry basket, the greyish thing moves and realisation dawns.

Living the Lie

BRONWYN KATZKE. According to a report on Christian news portal,, Commander of the SAPS Occult-related Crime Unit, Attie Lamprecht, confirmed that previous media reports stating the disbanding of the ORCU in 1997 were false. This would mean that despite pressure and petitioning from various human rights groups at the time, SAPS, instead of adhering to the SA Constitution, chose to keep the ORCU operable while lying to the public and media, and using the taxpayer’s money to fund the religiously-motivated crusade of a few.

Policing Belief

BRONWYN KATZKE. While SA’s ‘Satanic Panic’ has somewhat subsided amongst its white population, it seems that it is only just beginning to sprout in the townships of South Africa. A recent media report claimed that a teenage girl was attacked and killed by Satanists in Mohlakeng, Randfontein; all for the purpose of ‘drinking her blood’. While the facts are somewhat unclear, what is crystal clear is that this tragic event was less to do with actual Satanists and more to do with teenagers fulfilling Satanic Panic myth. However this fact is not being seen by ‘religious leaders’ and it came out in media reports yesterday that this horrible event is being used by the Gauteng MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy, to implement a program with the help of “faith-based organisations” (read excluding minority faiths) on curbing “Satanism and the occult” in schools. What is most damaging to Paganism and occult-orientated religions is that government is essentially endorsing and sponsoring the slandering of minority faiths, which are being termed as “harmful religious practices”.

The Abatwa, Africa’s Ant Riders

BRONWYN KATZKE. Found in Zulu mythology, the Abatwa are humans who look just like the Zulu peoples, with one exception- they are so small they can ride ants and hide under a blade of grass. In Zulu folklore it is believed that when the nature spirit Vash’Nok cried, his tears fell to the earth; and at the moment those tears touched the ground, they erupted into the Abatwa peoples.

A Simple Truth

BRONWYN KATZKE. Truth is a virtue that, within my own core ethics, goes hand in hand with respect, honor and the pursuit of knowledge. However, I am realizing that the concept of truth does not hold the same level of importance to all in the Pagan community. Take history for example. The study of history and archaeology are not something that appeals to everyone, but no one can refute the effect they have had on modern Paganism. Whether you’re a die-hard recontructionist or Wiccan, there is no denying that without the work of historians and archaeologists we would have no information on the Gods, mythology and lore, ritual elements or traditional practices. History is the core truth of modern Paganism. And yet there are some within the Pagan community who claim history is of little importance to modern Pagans as they should be focused on founding their future. To those that adhere to this belief I ask, what foundation would they have in the present or future without the truth of history?

Exposing the Lies – Inside Servamus’ ‘Drugs & Occult-Related Crime’ Part 3.

BRONWYN KATZKE. In each edition of the Exposing the lies series an article from Servamus’ Drugs and Occult-Related Crime: The Facts, The Answers will be dissected and shown for the religious propaganda that it is. This edition we look at an article that claims to show the ways in which Satanism and ‘the occult’ are supposedly trying to recruit children. If you went according to the imagery just beneath the title, the answer as to who is recruiting your child would have to be, ‘clowns’. Aside from the nonsensical claims featured in Servamus’ Who is Recruiting your Child? the article also boasts numerous images from Marilyn Manson to alleged ‘Satanic poetry’ to the cover of the book, Witches: An Encyclopedia of Paganism and Magic (Kyle Cathie Limited, 1996).

‘Overcomers through Christ’ a little fishy?

BRONWYN KATZKE. While recent reports have been devoid of the ‘s’ word, they still emanate the tell-tale stench of fish. Further media reports surfaced on the murders which allegedly surround Christian ministry, Overcomers through Christ (OTC). OTC leader, Ria Grunewald has now come to the media admitting that OTC members had experienced numerous threats months prior to the murders. Now I don’t know about you, but where there’s fouling fish, there’s often a rat or two lurking about.

Exposing the Lies – Inside Servamus’ ‘Drugs & Occult-Related Crime’ Part 2.

BRONWYN KATZKE. ‘Breaking the Circle’ closes with the claim that Satanism is evil and is “The Kingdom of Darkness and fear”. Just as with all the articles in the SAPS Servamus’ ‘special edition’, this view is wholly from the Christian perspective and only displays their need for an imaginary fear. And of course, the only cure for Satanism is acceptance of Jesus Christ as it is explicitly expressed in the closing paragraph. What ‘Breaking the Circle’ fails to acknowledge in its effort to convert the free-thinking youth is that in South Africa everyone is entitled under the South African Constitution to freedom of religion without discrimination or persecution. This article is an affront to human rights and blatantly discriminatory and false. But what is most troubling is that not only does this ‘information’ hold the potential to harm innocent children and teenagers, it is marketed to the very people who are meant to protect us from harm- SAPS officers.