Rights of witches ‘violated’

13 July 2012 | ILSE DE LANGE | The Citizen

The South African Pagan Rights Alliance, an organisation representing self-identified witches, believes existing witchcraft suppression legislation should be scrapped altogether as it criminalises witches on the basis of their beliefs and violates their right to religious freedom. Damon Leff, director of the alliance, said even though the Witchcraft Suppression Act was originally drafted against traditional healers and some traditional practices and not actual witches, the existence of the Act institutionalised prejudice against witchcraft per se. “The Act makes possessing knowledge, or professing to possess knowledge of ‘witchcraft’ illegal, and by its title, seeks to suppress witchcraft. It also prohibits divination, a practice shared by both traditional healers and Pagans who identify as Witches.”

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