Penton Independent Alternative Media - Altering Perspectives since 1995 Blog

S.A. Witches give press ombudsman Thloloe ‘The Finger’ – again !

MORE LETTERS TO SUNDAY TRIBUNE & S.A. PRESS OMBUDSMAN. The following letters of complaint, submitted by South African Witches, were sent to Philani Mgwaba, the Editor of the Sunday Tribune and Joe Thloloe, the South African Press Ombudsman after the Ombudsman ruled against considering a complaint lodged against the Sunday Tribune by Christa Martin of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance. Martin and many other South Africans have objected to the characterization of convicted murderer Charne van Heerden as ‘the Welkom witch’ on the Sunday Tribunes front page on November 27 2011. If you would like to publish your letter of complaint in PENTON, send it to

All the Little things

NATHALIE BEULAH. I sat looking out my window on a warm summer’s day and I watched as a small white butterfly danced amongst the purple and pink flowers in my garden. It was such a beautiful and yet fragile image. I thought about how easily a moment of anger could crush and destroy it. Over the past week there seemed to be a lot of negativity in the air, a lot of it did have to do with black Tuesday. However one thing I noticed was that a lot of the response to the events that happened was not only negative but it was not based on people understanding exactly how the process of passing a new bill works. A lot of assumptions were made and these spread like wild fire. I understood that if I took the approach of “cheer up and look at the facts” it was not going to go down well and if I were to say too much of anything, there would be people waiting in the sidelines to shoot me down or at the very least try their damnedest at counteracting my argument.

What are Witches going to do about the Press Ombudsman ?

DAMON LEFF. Has it once more become acceptable to use the prejudicial synonym ‘Jew’ for ‘stingy’ ? No, because we accept an automatic assumption that real Jews might be offended should they be stereotyped as miserly. The South African Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe however is of the view that even in cases of non-fiction, it is permissible to portray a witch (any witch) as a murderer, in the South African media, whether or not the person so being portrayed is a real Witch. In accordance with this view the Ombudsman has ruled that the Sunday Tribune has the right to call convicted murderer Charne van Heerden ‘the Welkom witch’, even though there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that she was or is a real Witch. Thloloe’s ruling is based, in part, on his tacit acceptance of an assumed common use meaning of the word ‘witch’. In his mind ‘a witch’ is without question a morally ambivalent individual quite capable of being assumed murderously dangerous to people around her. Thloloe is unwittingly guilty of promoting prejudice against real Witches, based on nothing more than historical fantasy.

Is Democracy In South Africa Dead?

CHRISTINA ENGELA. Once again my country, South Africa is the laughing stock of the free world – an outright embarrassment – for turning back on its tracks to forsake hard-won democracy for fascism and dictatorial totalitarian rule. This is the country once described as “a miracle” for embracing democratic rule and not tearing itself apart in the dangerous days of the early 1990’s. Is this really the same country? Is this really the same ANC that fought so hard for all the ideals it is now tossing aside in the interests of pursuing absolute power? You DO know what they say about absolute power, don’t you? Has South Africa just demonstrated that it is on the path to despotism, corruption and self destruction – like 99% of all other post-colonial, human-rights-abusing African states which it has such close ties to?

Black Tuesday

EDITOR: You have the Right 2 Know. Stop the Secrecy Bill. Let the Truth be told ! PENTON independent Pagan Media supports the call of the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on South Africans to support the ‘BLACK TUESDAY’ campaign again today.

The Girl without Hands and the number Seven

MICHAEL BERMAN. Before considering the importance of the number seven, here is a story, taken from Household Tales, by Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm (1812) Margaret Hunt, tr., in which it features prominently. (This, however, is just one of a host of traditional tales that could have been used to illustrate the significance of the number). A certain miller had little by little fallen into poverty, and had nothing left but his mill and a large apple-tree behind it. Once when he had gone into the forest to fetch wood, an old man stepped up to him whom he had never seen before, and said, “Why dost thou plague thyself with cutting wood, I will make thee rich, if thou wilt promise me what is standing behind the mill?” “What can that be but my apple-tree?” thought the miller, and said, “Yes,” and gave a written promise to the stranger. He, however, laughed mockingly and said, “When three years have passed, I will come and carry away what belongs to me,” and then he went.

Sugar-free Black Forest cake with fresh cherries

NASTASSJA STANDER. Double, double toil and trouble. Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. This is quite appropriate for the last week I have had therefore I decided to start off our cooking blog with a magical ingredient to guarantee happiness and create lots of those feel good hormones… yes you got it! Chocolate!!!! But then again, we all want to stay healthy and natural and as organic as possible, so our first recipe is for a Sugar-free Black forest cake with fresh cherries.

Twilight: Breaking Down

OCTARINE VALUR. Most real Vampyres I know actually hate Twilight. Some actually like it. Well, there’s no accounting for taste – which is probably why I went to watch the latest episode last Tuesday – Twilight – Breaking Dawn part 1. A veteran of the other three movies, each slightly more mundane than the last – even I was surprised at my disappointment. I really expected better. Honestly. I actually enjoyed the first movie, all that sparkly-twinkly BS aside, and as a romance it was rather entertaining. The second one was not as good, but that is pretty much expected in the case of sagas and sequels, isn’t it? But it went off rather well. Then the third one came along, which had some hiccups and flaws to my liking that left me feeling somehow dissatisfied with the whole thing. This latest offering was the worst yet.