Category: Beneath the Baobab – Bronwyn Katzke

The Other Side of Sensationalism

BRONWYN KATZKE. Satanists! The new boogeyman in a post-1994 South Africa. According to alleged ‘occult experts’ there are currently 80000 Satanists in South Africa; and these are not of the LaVeyan, Luciferanism or Theistic variety. No, the media and SAPS have been led to believe that there are tens of thousands of supposed ‘Satanists’ sacrificing women, children and babies every month while meditating to Judas Priest and blaspheming at every possible opportunity. What’s worse is they allow this belief to infect SAPS investigations and media reports.

A Community Perspective

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.”

Ignoring the Elephant

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.

Exposing the Lies – Inside Servamus’ ‘Drugs & Occult-Related Crime’ Part 1

BRONWYN KATZKE. On my desk sits a most chilling tome. An anthology of misinformation; filled with confusing images, twisted words and blatant lies. Servamus’ Drugs and Occult-Related Crime: The Facts, The Answers is the Malleus Maleficarum of our generation. This propaganda publication has been, and still is, used as a witches’ hammer against constitutionally protected minority religions. And with the resurrection of SAPS’ Occult-Related Crime Unit in 2012, Pagans, Witches, Occultists, Satanists and Vampyres are facing a possible new wave of propaganda and persecution at the hands of the next-generation of witch-hunters; each trained under the old master of SA’s own ‘satanic panic’- Kobus Jonker.

Bumping Back

BRONWYN KATZKE. Perhaps it’s a cold spot in the lounge or a shadow out the corner of your eye. Whatever it is you can’t shake the feeling that you may have a houseguest, and it’s not your tannie from Magaliesberg. Sometimes despite our best efforts to ensure our home is protected, something will slip in under the radar. It could be a wandering spirit on a pit stop, or an entity looking to make itself at home; or maybe something a bit more hostile. Whichever it is, you know it has to go but how do you go about giving it the boot?

An Open Letter to FH Havinga of ASERAC

BRONWYN KATZKE. Religion is a tricky subject no matter how you try to tackle it. As I have previously mentioned, our country’s constitution protects each and every citizen’s right to freedom of religion and opinion. However there is a fine line between expressing your beliefs and encroaching on the beliefs of others; which is something you do with reckless abandon. Specifically I refer to an interview you gave for an article titled Occult and Satanic practices ‘on the increase’ (, Benoni News, 30July 2012). If you continue to peddle your lies, then you will continue to indirectly harm an entire community of people. How would you feel if there was a Pagan organization that actively and publicly sought to spread lies about Christianity? You would be hurt, outraged even- so stop doing it to us.

What’s in a name?

BRONWYN KATZKE. So what is in a name? Ask one of the guys over at and they’ll probably tell you that it’s a lot. But that would be somewhere in between the Bible verses and shill to buy their brand of Jesus approved sportswear. According to these fringe fundamentalists Jesus doesn’t want you wearing sinful pagan sportswear- but Satan does! One thing I can tell this group is that an expensive sports brand named after a Greek goddess is the least of their problems. And if they want to go down this road, then so be it; but they should know that it’s a lot more complicated than buying a Jesus approved t-shirt.

The Call to Battle

BRONWYN KATZKE. As much as I love peace and harmony, and the tranquility of people co-existing like John Lennon sang about in Imagine, there has always been a part of me that is a bit of a shit-stirrer. It’s the part of my personality that balks at peace and finds it utterly boring. It’s landed me in trouble in the past; but it’s also the part of me that’s gotten things done and turned the wheel of change. I call my shit-stirring side ‘Medb’ and she has helped me come out of my shell and embrace aspects of my personality that I’d always fought to suppress. Medb and I have come to an understanding, and for the last few months we’ve been in a peace phase; but she’s getting a bit restless.