Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities ignores victims of witch-hunts

In a 2010 press release entitled Dept, healers declare war on muthi killings dated 18 February, Sibani Mngadi the spokesperson for the Minister of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Minister Lulu Xingwana, said “while the subject of witchcraft continues to be taboo in many corners of South Africa, all stakeholders need to be involved in exposing perpetrators of this practice. The Ministry is calling upon everyone who may be interested in contributing to the efforts to address this problem to contact the Ministry.”

The South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA), representing actual South African Witches, wrote to the Minister and her spokesperson on 19 February 2010 and requested the Minister to acknowledge this Alliance as a stakeholder in any and all discussions concerning Witchcraft in South Africa, in order to avoid the criminalization of real Witches and Witchcraft, by government and traditional healers. The Ministry, despite having acknowledged receipt of our correspondence requesting to be acknowledged as a stakeholder, has instead decided not to engage with real Witches on this or any related Witchcraft matter.

The Minister is choosing to ignore evidence of brutal witch-hunts against women and children, in favour of perpetuating stereotypical prejudice against Witchcraft and real Witches.

In her most recent statement announcing the start of 2011’s ’16 Days of no violence against women and children’ campaign, 16 days of activism kick off, Minister Xingwana has unfortunately once again failed to highlight the single biggest tragedy facing women and children in this country; those accused of witchcraft and murdered in their beds.Evidence will show that far more women and children (and men) have been murdered on suspicion and accusation of witchcraft during 2010 and 2011, than have become victims of ‘muti murders’; murders NOT proven to have been perpetrated by actual Witches (real practitioners of Witchcraft in South Africa), but rather by rogue traditional healers.

This Alliance again calls on Minister Lulu Xingwana and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to engage with this Alliance on matters which affect our religious community directly and to cease the perpetuation of prejudicial hearsay and unfounded accusation against citizens of this country, during the Department’s 16 Day Campaign, who are neither complicit in nor responsible for the commission of criminal acts.


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