|Botswana:Schools Haven for Satanists ?|
|Friday, 24 August 2012 11:21|
By Mtokozisi DubeSatanists are apparently turning Botswana schools into their ‘havens’ with alarming allegations that young scholars are being lured into the devilish cult. In recent months, Satanism reports have been a dominant theme of Botswana’s tabloids.
From strange fowls being found in classroos to fresh-faced teenagers clad in all-black attire heroically proclaiming being devil celebrants – that has been the story.
And, understandably, parents are frightened over the safety of their kids.
Mrs Mary Banyana of Gaborone is one of those who fear the ‘devil’ is on the loose at her two kids’ schools.
“Our children are not safe at all in these schools because teachers are also said to be involved in Satanism, so who will protect the kids,” a worried Banyana told Africa Review.
Her 13-year-old daughter, Neo, who is a Form One student at Naledi Senior Secondary School in Botswana’s capital Gaborone, recently narrated how a 14-year-old classmate publicly declared he is a devil worshipper.
Her 17-year-old son, Mooketsi, who is at a boarding school, also has his fair share of stories about bizarre ‘satanic’ incidents.
“My daughter tells me that this boy climbed on top of desks, dressed in all black, in the presence of teachers and started professing how he was a practicing Satanist,” she added.
So widespread have these reports been that just about every school has a story or two about the chilling practice.
A former Tlokweng CJSS scholar, Khumiso Sepheko (20), recounts how students would find strange birds and blood on windows in certain classrooms.
“Sometimes we would find a fowl or owl or feathers in class, and in most cases, tables would be pushed outside the classrooms and there would be blood on the windows. It’s really frightening,” says a visibly alarmed Sepheko.
Interestingly, the owl is usually associated with witchcraft.
Sepheko’s younger sibling, Oteng, a Form Two pupil at Gaborone Senior Secondary School, says: “We have a boy with a big tattoo at the back written Lucifer and he does all signs that we know from the Illuminati videos. He claims to be part of the Illuminati.”
The word Illuminati itself is supposed to mean those who have become ‘spiritually enlightened’, or rather make claims to that affect.
Illuminati followers have several secret codes that supposedly express their detestation for God.
“The boy who claims to be an Illuminati writes weird symbols at the back of his examination papers.”
And the belief, according to Oteng, is that it affects others with some students having previously spoken of their inability to see clearly during examinations, suspecting that he would have cast spells on them.
A local weekly, The Monitor, recently wrote that at Kagiso Senior Secondary School, at the end of every academic year, the leaving students pass the ‘culture’ onto the remaining group.
Claims are that they give out sweets or biscuits to innocent young pupils as part of some sort of ‘initiation process’.
A schoolgirl who spoke on condition of anonymity said one of her peers confessed to being possessed by some Satanic spirit and having a strong craving to drink human blood.
She adds: “At my school one kid confessed that they normally hold their meetings at night and he often longs to drink human blood. He also said some teachers are members of the Satanism group.”
She further claimed that another student was delivered from a Satanic spirit at a church outside the boarding school.
The student is said to have told the church’s leadership she was well-off because of Satanism.
And while administering deliverance, the Pastor is said to have taken out rings from the student’s fingers ‘but these rings were only visible to the Pastor and the student’.
But while most parents are fretting over the claims, Mr Masala Maphosa of Tlokweng in south-east Botswana, warns them to choose ‘proper’ schools for their kids.
“God gave the responsibility over children to parents, not the schools. So parents must be answerable for what happens to their children,” he says.
“Before taking your child to a school, you must know the set-up, the common philosophies in that school, and what teachers impart onto students.”
Mr Maphosa says he knows his three children’s teachers, and the headmistress, and says “they are people who have good moral standards.”
No solid proof
The secretary-general of the Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana (EFB), Pastor Owen Isaacs, is convinced the allegations are authentic and describes Satanists as people who worship the devil.
“This are not fairy tales. They're real. Satanists are people who have resolved to choose Satan as a symbol of worship and because of that they worship Satan and serve his interests,” the man of the cloth said.
Some of the people practicing Satanism, according to Pastor Isaacs, got involved because they were promised money and power to do evil activities.
“Satanism is dangerous to any society. If people get too complacent, evil attacks them. We don’t want to overly alarm people to an extent that they stop doing what they do in their normal lives,” Isaacs says.
Kagiso School Parent Teachers Association chairman, Mr Tshekiso Sorinyane, is aware of the allegations, but admits it is difficult to act especially considering there is no solid proof.
In fact, they went to the extent of involving the police to help them with the problem but they could not find a way of proving that indeed there was Satanism at the school.
“Last year, we met with the village leadership to discuss the problem but our challenge was that we do not have proof about Satanism at the school,” he says.
The head of Botswana's Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Mr Isaac Kgosi, also admitted recently that Satanism was a growing threat in the country.
This was after an online network supposedly used by an international satanic network to target Batswana (Botswana nationals) and lure them into the dark side was allegedly discovered.
The international online recruitment network is said to have set up a website listing 129 Botswana towns and villages asking Satanists to browse the locations to find and meet up with Satanist groups in their respective bases.
The biggest Satanist threat for Botswana, however, appears to come from South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Cape Town in South Africa is listed as the city with the third largest number of engrossed Satanists after Portland and Arizona in the United States of America.
Zimbabwe’s capital Harare is ranked 10th while Pretoria in South Africa is ranked 20th in the world. However, none of the Botswana towns and villages made the top 20.