Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA]

Vampires & Vampirism => Vampire Community & Subcultural Discussion => Topic started by: Merticus on September 21, 2012, 03:02:32 pm



Title: South African Police - Witch/Occult/Pagan/Vampire - Occult Crime Unit Memo
Post by: Merticus on September 21, 2012, 03:02:32 pm
South African Police Service - Religious Crimes Unit Mandate - August 21, 2012
http://www.paganrightsalliance.org/documents/SAPS%20religious%20crimes%20unit%20Mandate.pdf

South African Pagan Rights Alliance - Official Objections To SAPS - September 10, 2012
http://www.paganrightsalliance.org/documents/SAPRA%20objection%20to%20SAPS%20Religious%20Crimes%20Unit.pdf

(Pages 8-10 pertain to the "Vampire Community")



SAPRA: 

http://www.paganrightsalliance.org/press.html

SAVA/SAVN: 

http://savampyrenews.wordpress.com/2012/09/19/occult-related-crime-unit-a-threat-to-religious-freedom-by-val/
http://savampyrenews.wordpress.com/2012/09/10/sa-police-to-get-witch-and-vampire-hunters/



(http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/SCIA/SCIA-Unsorted/SAPSReligiousCrimesUnitMandate-08.21.12.jpg)



Human Tissues Act - South Africa:

Removal of tissue, blood, blood products or gametes from living persons

55. A person may not remove tissue, blood, a blood product or gametes from the body of another living person for the purpose referred to in section 56 unless it is done-
(a) with the written consent of the person from whom the tissue, blood, blood
product or gametes are removed granted in the prescribed manner; and
(b) in accordance with prescribed conditions.

Use of tissue, blood, blood products or gametes removed or withdrawn from living
persons

56. (1) A person may use tissue or gametes removed or blood or a blood product
withdrawn from a living person only for such medical or dental purposes as may be
prescribed.
(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the following tissue, blood, blood products or
gametes may not be removed or withdrawn from a living person for any purpose
contemplated in subsection (1):
(i) Tissue, blood, a blood product or a gamete from a person who is mentally ill within the meaning of the Mental Health Care Act, 2002 (Act No. 17 of 2002);
(ii) tissue which is not replaceable by natural processes from a person younger than 18 years;
(iii) a gamete from a person younger than 18 years; or
(iv) placenta, embryonic or fetal tissue, stem cells and umbilical cord, excluding umbilical cord progenitor cells.
(b) The Minister may authorise the removal or withdrawal of tissue, blood, a blood
product or gametes contemplated in paragraph (a) and may impose any condition which
may be necessary in respect of such removal or withdrawal.



http://dailysun.mobi/indexnew_headline1.rbml?rssItemId=http%3A%2F%2Fwordpress.integrat.co.za%2Fdailysun%2F%3Fp%3D34117

http://wordpress.integrat.co.za/dailysun/index_headlinecontent1/cops-to-hunt-tokoloshebrnew-unit-to-look-into-vampires-zombies-and-harmful-curses

COPS TO HUNT TOKOLOSHE!
New unit to look into vampires, zombies and harmful curses.
By SIMONE HERADIEN, BASA MUSHI and TEBOGO THAMAGE
18 September 2012


THE state can’t ignore the tokoloshe, zombies, vampires, Satanists and people who practise black magic any longer . . .
Very soon there will be a special SAPS unit to investigate dead chickens buried in the garden,
muthi over the doorposts and people ordered to do evil deeds by evil spirits!
RAPES BY TOKOLOSHE WILL ALSO FORM PART OF THEIR INVESTIGATIONS.
Animal sacrifice and muthi murders, or human mutilation for muthi purposes, top their list of priorities.
A police memo dated 21 August, which was leaked to the People’s Paper, states that “two detectives per province have been trained in the investigation of vampires, zombie intimidation and curses intended to do harm, as well as other such occurrences”.
The detectives will work for the Occult Related Crime Unit.
The detailed memorandum was sent to divisional, provincial and deputy national commissioners, as well as heads of offices and commanders of SAPS training institutions.
The SAPS said it recognises the freedom of religious expression that relates to witchcraft and Satanism but pointed out that crimes related to these beliefs need to be punished.
The memo also tells the cops to stay neutral during investigations.
Johan Burger of the Institute for Security Studies told Daily Sun the unit is a good idea.
“Regular detectives can’t deal with such crimes,” he said.
“The investigation of these kinds of crimes needs specific training and specific skills.”
The police’s Colonel Tummi Shai said the SAPS has always had detectives specialising in such crimes.
“The crimes were just not classified as occult crimes,” Shai said.
Damon Leff of the South African Pagan Rights Alliance said his organisation isn’t sure about the unit.
“The supernatural should not be investigated by the SAPS as there’s no scientific evidence to prove it,” he said.
Phephesile Maseko of the Traditional Healers Organisation said traditional healers who kill for ritual purposes are not inyangas.
“They are just murderers,” she said.
A previous unit that investigated occult-related crime was disbanded years ago after being found to be “out of touch” with the country’s new Constitution.
Led by Kobus Jonker from 1991 to 2001, it reportedly investigated 300 cases of muthi-related crimes alone.
Its strong focus on Satanism led to the unit being accused of pushing a strictly Christian agenda.

(http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/SCIA/SCIA-Unsorted/DailySun-SouthAfrica-Tokoloshe+SAPS-09.18.12.jpg)



http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/local-news?oid=319659&sn=Detail&pid=146826&Pagans-challenge-occult-related-crime-training-

Pagans challenge occult-related crime training
South African pagans have expressed concern after it was revealed the SA Police Service (SAPS) is training detectives to be specialists in “occult-related crimes”.
18 September 2012 | YADHANA JADOO


JOHANNESBURG - A leaked internal police memo entitled “Investigation of Harmful Occult-Related Crimes: Investigation Support Capacity” is being circulated on the Internet.

The police document mentions that two detectives per province must be experts in dealing with occult crimes. The memo says these include muti murders, curses intended to cause harm, vampirism, spiritual intimidation including “astral coercion”,  rape by “tokoloshe spirits”, poltergeist phenomena, voodoo,  black magic and traditional healers involved in criminal activities.

“This newly envisioned scope of investigation must be viewed with suspicion and be of concern to anyone engaged in the practice of witchcraft, traditional African religion, and other occult spiritualities, including satanism,”  the  SA Pagan Rights Alliance (Sapra) said.

The specialists will help other detectives in cases that involve  crimes “rooted in the supernatural”.

The memo addresses all divisional and provincial commissioners, heads of office, all commanders at SAPS colleges and all deputy national commissioners. It indicated that two detectives per province recently received specialised training in the investigation of “harmful occult-related crimes”.

“The investigation of harmful occult-related crimes demands a great deal of spiritual and emotional balance...

It is important for members of the SAPS to remain neutral during investigations and their focus must remain unbiased regarding the occult-related criminal discourse,” the memo states.

Questions to the SAPS yesterday about  the extent of the “specialised training” and how such crimes would be investigated were unanswered.

Sapra said it believed  the new police mandate potentially threatened religious minorities who may be used as scapegoats on the basis of belief.



http://www.bdlive.co.za/opinion/columnists/2012/09/19/the-insider-something-interesting-to-sink-your-teeth-into

THE INSIDER: Something Interesting To Sink Your Teeth Into
By The Insider - 19 September 2012, 06:04


THE Insider is in receipt of a rather strange missive with a disconcerting preamble: "This is a story you will want to research and report on before international attention is brought to bear..." It continues, "The South African Police Service may now be targeting Wiccans, Pagans, Healers, Occultists, Satanists, and Vampires as part of a secret new initiative (lumping them all together as … ‘Satanic’ or ‘Occult’ crimes). The sweeping generalisations, oblique, and intentionally vague references outlined in this document may potentially be used to violate the rights and religious protections of law-abiding South Africans by purposefully inciting a ‘Satanic Panic’ — much like the one that swept the US in the 1980s and was later proven unfounded by the FBI ...

"There are dangerous individuals out there who should be brought to justice but law-abiding practitioners of alternative religions and consensual ritual beliefs and practices that don’t result in the loss of life … shouldn’t be the focus of clandestine SAPS investigations. Especially when the underlying aim is to further the private agendas of elected officials and mainstream religious groups. This is very embarrassing for a country that is supposedly striving to be more progressive towards embracing 21st century human rights ideals."

The Insider has no quibble with any of this and, indeed, many of his friends and their friends are pagans. The letter was "signed off", however, by various groups, most of which the Insider had no idea existed, to wit the South African Pagan Rights Alliance, the South African Vampire Community and the South African Vampire Alliance. Let’s hope you’re not reading this at twilight....



http://www.citizen.co.za/citizen/content/en/citizen/opinion-columnists?oid=320077&sn=Detail&pid=40&Pulling-Lucifer%E2%80%99s-tail

Pulling Lucifer’s Tail
South African pagans and members of other minority religions were understandably upset this week when a leaked memo revealed that the police are training two detectives per province to deal with “occult-related crimes”.
20 September 2012 | MICHAEL COETZEE


For many it undoubtedly brought back memories of the now-defunct SAPS Occult-Related Crime Unit.

It used to be headed by a man who still uses every opportunity he can to pursue his campaign of misinformation about witchcraft, paganism, satanism and occult practices, Kobus Jonker (he likes to be called “Dr”, but his PhDs seem to originate from diploma mills).

With the dawning of a new South Africa and the adoption of a constitution that guarantees freedom of religious belief and practice, Jonker and his fellow fundamentalist Christian crusaders suddenly found themselves unable to use the organs of state to pursue their agenda.

Some former members formed religious ministries to continue their work, and like Jonker they are sometimes contacted by poorly informed journalists who fall for the “expert” tag they like to hang around their necks.

Now, with the leaking of the memo, it seems that the masters of misinformation have somehow got their foot in the door again.

The memo reveals that police detectives will receive special training to deal with “categories of crime” that include the “practice of voodoo in order to cause harm”, “vampirism”, “astral coercion” and “poltergeist phenomena”.

A reasonable person may well ask whether our police officers shouldn't rather receive more training in catching corporeal criminals before they go after invisible and intangible ones, but that is a topic for another day.

One of the many things that are wrong with this police plan is how a whole bunch of unrelated or scarcely related things are grouped together under the umbrella of “occult-related crimes”, and held up as deserving special police scrutiny and expertise.

The reality is that astral coercion doesn’t exist, that occultists and religious satanists don’t go around killing people (at least not more than the general population), and that witchcraft as a religion and as a cultural practice is distinct from the practice of satanism and sometimes paganism as a religion.

But those who sell themselves as experts on occult-related crimes either don’t know this, which would mean they are not experts at all, or they do know it but wilfully mislead people.

They have a religious agenda which they pursue by being the “go-to people” for information on the occult, witchcraft etc, and instead of providing real information, they spread lies and propaganda.

In public relations terms they certainly realise the importance of “controlling the message” and have been quite successful at doing so, notwithstanding substantial gains by groups such as the South African Pagan Rights Alliance in setting the record straight.

Police management needs to remember that the SAPS is there to protect all South Africans, of whatever religious persuasion and of none at all.

Minority religions especially are often the target of discrimination and even violence from “mainstream” quarters, so their practitioners are often in need of even greater protection.

The last thing we need is for President Jacob Zuma’s “minorities have fewer rights” approach to be applied in the world of law enforcement and religious freedom.



http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2012/09/20/police-on-a-witch-hunt

Police On A Witch Hunt
Nashira Davids and Philani Nombembe
20 September, 2012 00:06


Witches in South Africa believe police are out to get them.

The SA Pagan Rights Alliance has claimed that it has heard that the SA Police Service has trained two detectives in each province to investigate "harmful occult-related" crimes. The alliance represents witches "who identify witchcraft as their religion".

The crimes police were trained specially for include:

    Witchcraft-related offences, including black magic, witch-finding and witch-purging;
    The practice of voodoo intended to cause harm;
    Vampirism and joint infringement of the Human Tissue Act;
    Murder or human sacrifice leaving evidence of occult involvement; and,
    Allegations of rape by a tokoloshe spirit.

The alliance has objected to what it calls the "launch of regional occult-related crime units". But national police spokesman Colonel Vish Naidoo said police were not targeting religious groups and that investigating such crimes was not new.


Title: Re: South African Police - Witch/Occult/Pagan/Vampire - Occult Crime Unit Memo
Post by: Merticus on September 22, 2012, 09:14:07 am
Weekend Post - South Africa
September 22, 2012


(http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/SCIA/SCIA-Unsorted/PoliceVampireUnitReturns-WeekendPost-SouthAfrica-09.22.12.jpg)

(http://www.veritasvosliberabit.com/SCIA/SCIA-Unsorted/PoliceEstablishOccultTaskTeam-WeekendPost-SouthAfrica-09.22.12.jpg)



EC Police Establish Occult Task Team
by John Harvey, Weekend Post Reporter (PE Herald)
22 September 2012


Muti Busters: Trio trained to probe witchcraft, voodoo, ‘tokoloshe’ crimes
Eastern Cape police have appointed three detectives to specialize in occult-related crime as
part of a national drive by the SAPS to crack down on muti murders and other crimesincluding
the bizarre rape by a “tokoloshe spirit”- that may occur during the practicing of
Satanism, witchcraft and even vampirism.
This has been confirmed by Eastern Cape police after a internal police memo entitled:
Investigation of Harmful Occult Related Crimes; Investigation Support Capacity was leaked
on the internet and to the media earlier this week. According to provincial police spokeman
Lt Colonel Sibongile Soel the three officers have been trained to investigate:
• Witchcraft-related offences, including black magic, witch-finding and witch purging
• The practice of voodoo intended to cause harm
• Vampirism and joint infringement of the Human Tissues Act
• Murder or human sacrifice leaving evidence of occult involvement; and
• Allegations of rape by a tokoloshe spirit
Religious leaders and acadamics in the province have welcomed the move as being “long
overdue”, claiming occult-related crimes like muti killings, human sacrifice and initiation
rituals involving rape are reaching criticallevels. Clergymen have even reported that
vampirism- drinking the blood of other humans and slaughtered pets for sexual arousal- is on
the rise.
The establishment of these teams in each of the nine provinces camoes 15 years after police
disbanded its Occult-Related Crime Unit, following complaints by human rights groups who
argued that the Constitution guaranteed religious freedom, a definition broad enough to
include Satanists.
“SAPS Eastern Cape has trained three detectives at warrant officer rank, who will be
centralized, but each dealing with a specific part of the province [which is still to be
specified]” Soel said.
Pastors James Lotterning, of Word of Faith in Port Elizabeth, and Barry Thomas, of the Fiorst
City Baptist Church in East London, have both reported “intensifying” occult activity in the
past three years.
“In the early 1990s East London was known as the Satanism capital of South Africa. That died
off now it appears to be back. What is most disturbing is that it is taking the form of
vampirism,” Thomas said.
“About two years ago I became aware of a coven of about 50 people practicing vampirism in
Gonubee, where human and animal blood was being drunk. Many of these youngsters came to
me after we discovered them. There are elder men, called lords, who oversee the gatherings
and administer lessons to the youngsters.”
Lottering said it was imperative that the new unit initially focused on the former Ciskei and
Transkei areas of the Eastern Cape to combat muti murders.
“I counsel people every day and what is apparent is that witchcraft in the rural areas is
filtering into the cities. There are of course cultural factors to consider but if you are killing
humans for body parts to put spells on people that is demonic, both spiritually and
physically,” he said
The new occult unti officers have undergone months of training under the tutelage of Dr
Kobus “Donker” Jonker, former head of the Occult-Related Crimes Unit.
He said there were more of these cults cropping up every day.
“The leaders don’t appear to be anything special, but they are highly charismatic. This draws
in their followers, who are often lost in their lives. Initially they stick rigidly to the teachings
of the Bible but then they begin to present themselves as messiah figures. This trend is
developing at a lot of universities.”
However for members of the SA Pagan Rights Alliance, like Port Elizabeth’s Christina Engler
(sic), the new units represent “a big backward step”.
“These units will be influenced by Christian doctrine, which will lump pagans (sic) like me
into the same group as Satanists and anybody they think will commit a crime. This will
reinforce stereotypes and make people doubt themselves all over again,” Engler (sic) said.



http://christinaengela.blogspot.com/2012/09/interview-with-vampire-journalist.html

Interview With The Vampire Journalist
Saturday, September 22, 2012


Concerning the article in today's Weekend Post, one which I was interviewed for on Thursday regarding the new SAPS anti-alternative religion unit, euphemistically called the "Occult Related Crime Unit". This unit, which is really just a bunch of Christian missionaries gifted with a 5 day course on "the occult" to make them "experts" in the field (of harassing innocent citizens for their beliefs) and wearing badges. The whole thing just reeked of Christianist propaganda, being an example of completely skewed and biased reporting. I felt I had to respond to the "journalist" who interviewed me for it.

Dear John,

I must say I'm very disappointed in your article "Police 'Vampire' Unit Returns". If I'd known it was going to turn out this way I would never have given that interview.

Out of the five minutes we spoke and all the things I said, you condensed it all down to one short sentence in the entire article, which made it look like I am ashamed to be a Pagan and a witch - and worse, that I have a reason to be ashamed!

Instead or being objective, you went the sensationalist route, focused on the negatives and gave the floor to a bunch of biased and bigoted pastors who gave vent to their prejudices, grossly exaggerated - and whom obviously have a vested interest in supporting a blatantly unconstitutional initiative such as this unit - the oppression of other religions in favor of the promotion of their own (and presumably yours as well). So much for objective journalism and professional reporting.

Worst of all, you dressed it up as if it is a good thing, and that it will somehow make SA a safer place for all the "good folks" (who are of course, Christians). You made it look like everyone who isn't a Christian and happens to be a witch or Pagan somehow deserves to be in the spotlight of this new unit, simply by way of what they happen to believe in - which in my book, demonstrates exactly why Pagans, witches (and it also seems, vampires) should be concerned about the very real and threatening religious fundamentalist "christianISM" which is creeping into our government.

Lastly, as a minor detail, you even spelled my last name wrong. It's not Engler - it's Engela.



https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=366905270057646&id=123971017684407&ref=notif&notif_t=feed_comment

Herald Port Elizabeth
September 22, 2012


Octarine Val Valur:

In today's Weekend Post, the article "Police 'Vampire' Unit Returns" by John Harvey has reference. To set you straight on just a few points you have misreported due to clearly apparent ignorance about real Vampyres:

You state "clergymen have even reported that vampirism - drinking the blood of other humans and slaughtered pets for sexual arousal is on the rise" - Nothing could be further from the truth! Vampyres do NOT consume blood for sexual arousal. Public testimony from many real Vampyres the world over makes it very clear that Vampyres feed out of the belief that it is in order to maintain their precarious balance in terms of health - and that sex has nothing to do with it. And for that matter, what would a "clergyman" know about vampyrism or "the occult" anyway?

Further, the use of the term "on the rise" is little more than a transparent attempt to invoke paranoia and hysteria in this country, which is looking increasingly backward and conservative by the day - replete with religious fundamentalist lunatics waving their arms in the air and reaching for the bibles and holy water.

To continue, there are several different kinds of Vampyres - and your article creates the impression that all Vampyres are "satanists", dangerous criminals and wanton monsters who kill, maim and destroy left and right. It is very clear that you do not know the first thing about us, in fact the article is written with a very clear bias indicating that you do not wish to - however, I will attempt to explain for those open-minded enough to listen and to try and understand.

There are two main kinds of Vampyres, psychic Vampyres and sanguine Vampyres. The psychic Vampyres (or psi-vamps) feed of prana, chi or life energy which they obtain from living sources via psychic means, similar to what you would see in practices such as Reiki or other energy-healing techniques. The sanguines (or sangs) require small regular feeds of blood, preferably human, and preferably still containing life energy. Sangs consume small amounts of blood which are donated voluntarily to them by consenting adults, most often within the confines of private relationships.

Important to note, is that no harm is done to any donor, as this is contrary to our own strict guidelines and code of ethics.

Also very important to note here is that RELIGION DOES NOT NECESSARILY PLAY A PART IN VAMPYRISM. Vampyres occur everywhere, in every country, culture, race and group. There are Vampyres who identify as members of diverse religious affiliations, and many Vampyres identify as Christians. We view being vampyric as a condition or state of being, an identity - not part and parcel of any specific religion.

The repeated references in your article solely to Christian pastors and clergy when referring to "religion" as a template, creates the impression that the Christian religion is somehow above reproach (and as though the rest of us don't have any right to be defined under that term) and places Christian clergy in a position of expertise, when the truth is they don't know the first thing about "the occult" - or vampyrism!

Your article also takes the tone that this unconstitutional and discriminatory move on the part of the SAPS is somehow a "good thing", when in fact all it does is to elevate fundamentalist Christianity into a position above all other relgions, spiritual paths and identities - and gives it the power to judge without the onus to give any answer to the public (and to its victims) for its judgements.

Since when does all "occult" activity suddenly qualify as "satanism"? Is it illegal to be a practising Satanist in South Africa? No? Then why label everything which some ill-qualified and ignorant Christian clergy point out as being "occult in nature" as "satanic"? Do you not realize that this is one-sided and biased reporting which harms the image of other religions and impairs the legal rights of other people to practice their religions in peace? Are you a newspaper or a Christian church newsletter?

Why the sudden interest in Vampyres as a target for religious prejudice and police harrassment in South Africa? When last has there been a report of anyone being attacked in South Africa for the purpose of having their blood drained or consumed? Has there ever been such a case in this country? I am curious to know why, without a factual or statistical basis for any such criminal investigation, it is somehow considered necessary to establish a dedicated police unit to focus on alternate identity groups and minority religions in this country?

Is this not tantamount to the Christian fanatic calling the atheist a satanist? The atheist is an atheist - which by it's very definition is nothing of the sort. Of course, the Christian doesn't see the difference at all - and because the Christian has the power of numbers on his side, it doesn't matter what the atheist objects to being called - because the Christian will see to it that the atheist's voice is drowned out by the sound of the accusations of him being a "satanist".

To the writer of the article I say: Kindly stop enabling prejudice in this country and start acting like a professional journalist! To the Weekend Post: "Please stop acting like a tabloid rag - this caliber of article belongs in the Daily Sun, not the Weekend Post!

+

Bron Katzke:

Dear Editor

It is my understanding of the South African Press Code that reporting should be fair and unbiased, and should not depart from the facts to wander in the realm of distortion and exaggeration. Unfortunately it is my opinion that the article, ‘EC police establish occult task team’, as published in the Weekend Post has flown in the very face of the press code on the afore mentioned grounds.

Before I tackle the inaccuracies of the article in question I would like to point out that the term ‘occult’ is rooted in the Latin word occultus and refers to ‘hidden knowledge’. Today the term is used by many members of the Pagan community who self-identify as occultists; as well as being applicable to the study of occult practices including (but not limited to): magick, alchemy, astrology, divination, and spiritualism. In that regard, any spiritual practice that has hidden knowledge or ‘mysteries’, can be labelled as ‘occult’.

“…as part of a national drive by the SAPS to crack down on muti murders and other crimes- including the bizarre rape by a “tokoloshe spirit”- that may occur during the practicing of Satanism, witchcraft and even vampirism.”

By this the reporter implies that muthi murders and crime are a by-product of the practice of Satanism, Witchcraft and vampirism. This statement is not only totally false, it is also discriminatory against practitioners and adherents of the constitutionally protected religious practices of Satanism or Witchcraft, and other Pagan beliefs that rightfully self-identify as ‘occult’.

The article then goes on to quote:

“Religious leaders and academics in the province have welcomed the move as being “long overdue”, claiming occult-related crimes like muti killings, human sacrifice and initiation rituals involving rape are reaching critical levels.”

I question the source of this quote- who exactly are these academics and religious leaders? Would I be correct in assuming that the “religious leaders” is a mask for exclusively Christian clergy who play into the false hysteria of ‘Satanic Panic’?

Although I understand that it is in fact the SAPS who incorrectly apply the term ‘occult’ to these crimes, muthi killings, human sacrifice or rape in no way, shape or form constitute the religious practices of South Africa’s Pagan, Satanic and occult communities. Any unbiased religious leader or notable academic would know this.

It is my belief that this statement is totally out of the realm of fact and is based on the opinions of fringe spiritual warfare ministries and not on the opinions of any leading expert with actual experience in occult practices.

“Clergymen have even reported that vampirism- drinking the blood of other humans and slaughtered pets for sexual arousal- is on the rise.”

The opinion of clergymen is exceptionally biased in this matter. It is commonly, and incorrectly, held within Christian belief that anything of the occult is ‘evil’. Naturally clergymen seek to increase their flock as Christianity is an evangelical faith; and because of this the Christian church has a long history of using scare tactics to achieve that goal. This statement is a scare tactic. It is based on prejudice and no counter statement from an expert is given which only further shows the bias of the article. Furthermore, vampyres do not slaughter animals or humans for blood and the act of consuming small quantities of blood is not for sexual arousal either.

“Pastors James Lottering, of Word of Faith in Port Elizabeth, and Barry Thomas, of the First City Baptist Church in East London, have both reported “intensifying” occult activity in the past three years.”

The truth is that Pastor James Lottering has been claiming intensifying occult activity for numerous years; claims which are unfounded and outside of provable facts. Lottering is a pastor for his own Warfare Ministries; a spiritual warfare ministry that focuses on ‘liberation’ from the occult through deliverance and even goes as far as to perform exorcisms to achieve this goal. It should also be noted that Lottering is an ex-member of the disbanded ORCU, and biased to the false views held by said unit.

As already stated, ‘occult activity’ is no more cause for concern than increasing church numbers. The term ‘occult’ covers constitutionally protected minority religions such as Wicca, Paganism, and yes, even Satanism. Why would an increase in the adherents of minority religions be of concern for the SAPS and investigated by SAPS?

“I counsel people every day and what is apparent is that witchcraft in the rural areas is filtering into the cities. There are of course cultural factors to consider but if you are killing humans for body parts to put spells on people that is demonic, both spiritually and physically.”

In response to this statement by Lottering, the reporter draws no distinction between what is mislabelled as ‘witchcraft’ in reference to harmful indigenous spiritual practices (muthi) and the constitutionally protected Pagan religion of Witchcraft. As such, it leaves Lottering’s statement open to misinterpretation by the reader, who will most likely assume that Pagan Witchcraft practices call for the killing of humans so that body parts may be used on others to cause harm- an assumption that is totally false.

“The new occult unit officers have undergone months of training under the tutelage of Dr Kobus “Donker” Jonker, former head of the Occult-Related Crimes Unit.”

As per the SAPS website the ‘Occult-Related Crime Learning Program’ is for the full duration of only five days and not ‘months’ as stated in the article. What is however of great concern is that the tutor of this course, Kobus Jonker, is far from an expert. This can be evidenced in a recent statement by Jonker claiming that the six sided hexagram was in fact, a witchgram- Jonker directly mistranslated ‘hex’ to mean witch instead of ‘six’. In my personal opinion as a Pagan who has been exploring occult philosophies and practices for ten years, Kobus Jonker is not an occult expert but a Christian fanatic who dwells in his own occult fantasies.

It is my suggestion that at the minimum, The Herald apologises for the discriminatory remarks conveyed in the article regarding constitutionally protected and recognized minority religions. The false statements and biased nature of this article will only serve to hurt a community of people in South Africa estimated to be 5000 in number. Do you, as the editor, wish to be responsible for the discrimination of that many people and perhaps more?

Kind regards
Bronwyn Katzke
Witch, Pagan, and Occultist