Documentary on Child Witchcraft Confessions in South Africa

The Sowetan reports on a television documentary airing in South Africa about witchcraft accusations, entitled Troubled Souls and part of a strand called Special Assignment. According to the programme’s website:

Witchcraft accusations are still rife in South Africa, but something must be quite worrying when these are increasingly driven by the church.

A further blurb adds:

This week’s Special Assignment investigates two churches in Limpopo, which proudly claim that children can also be demon possessed and be used in witchcraft activities. In some instances, teenagers themselves do say that they used to fly on planes and go through windows as part of their witchcraft activities. How damaging can this be to children and are these churches a law unto themselves?

According to the Sowetan, the programme claims that certain churches are “widely distributing recorded confessions on witchcraft made by children.” In particular, the report mentions “the New Generation Church in Lenting village”, which 

…provides shelter to adults and children, many of whom are ill.

The founder and leader of the church, Pastor Bertha Mphahlele, says she wants to deliver people, including children, who are bound by evil spirits.

The church has a basic website here; although it mentions “evil spirits” and “deliverance”, the emphasis appears to be on practical assistance, and there is no mention of witches. The pastor – also known as “Pastor M.B. Mphahlele” – does not appear to have links with any other church.

Confessions of witchcraft by children are considered in the recent UNICEF report which I blogged on yesterday; in 2008 I blogged on a Presbyterian pastor in Cameroon who gets teenage girls to confess to causing disasters through witchcraft, and I noted a case from Nigeria last year.

(Hat tip: Bulldada Newsblog)

18 Responses

  1. The South African Pagan Rights Alliance will be lodging a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the New Generation Church and its Pastor Bertha Mphahlele for actively promoting fabricated accusations against Witchcraft that both prejudice real Witches and stigmatize innocent children.

    see The Devil’s in the Church
    http://www.newstime.co.za/article/DamonLeff/The_Devils_in_the_Church/73/1955/

  2. “Real witches”?

    • “Real Witches” i.e. those who use the term to define who and what they are.

      • Right. So people who stand around in forests banging drums at dawn? Not ones that have actual superpowers.

      • The entire Bible from beginning to end is a comprehensive book on witchcraft and occultism based on Sumerian beliefs and the Keys of Solomon not to mention borrowing from the diaspora and other ancient beliefs and using them as their own. The practice of necromancy is also prevalent during the story of the beheading of St John and the use of Laurel, honey and other sweet herbs. As far as divination goes the prophetic books of Isaiah Ezekiel and the lesser-known books that make up what is known as non-cannonical mysticism as found in the Torah and Kabbalah as well as the New Testament they talk about using things like wormwood and other hallucinogens like LSA 2 bring them self closer to God. Also another example of this is the story of Moses and his fasting while being on the Temple mount. These things combined are exactly what you call” witchcraft” they are a perversion of the truth and a way that the powers-that-be make sure you stay in your lane. Dogma is based on fear fear is really based on truth fear is a byproduct of insecurity whether you hold it from the beginning of your existence or it’s something that is honed onto you. Salute’.

  3. hi there

    i recently sent you an e-mail requesting a WITCHCRACT DVD, which you broadcasted on your show a few months back, please indicate to me how much i should pay for the DVD as i intend to use it as part of my researches about witchcraft and satanism. I am a voluntary teacher at Tembisa High School teaching LIFE ORIENTATION and i have been observing how learners in high schools behave which to a certain degree is as a result of affiliation to the occult whether aware or unaware. This will help in creating an awareness to these youngsters about the consequenses of subscribing to satanism. We have seen how learners stab one another without showing remorse and this awareness will help in creating a society which is humane. i will appreciate it if you could get me a copy of the DVD.

    Regards
    Koketso

    • HI KOKETSO,I ALSO THINK IS A GOOD IDEA TO TEACH AND INFORM CHILDREN ABOUT WITCH CRAFT AND SATANISM BECAUSE CHILDREN ARE THE MOST VICTIM OF SATANISM.PATIENCE MASILELA

    • Dear Koketso

      Its all good to become knowledgable on these topics however, should you be of a prejudiced mind, you will only drive the youth further away and into the arms of those willing to use them for their own evil gains. Not all Witches are evil in fact most of us are not and none of us believe in satan. Satan does not form apart of our belief system. You need to look at other sources of information and not only commercialised propaganda. in love and light..

  4. hi there

    i recently sent you an e-mail requesting a WITCHCRACT DVD, which you broadcasted on your show a few months back, please indicate to me how much i should pay for the DVD as i intend to use it as part of my researches about witchcraft and satanism. I am a voluntary teacher at Tembisa High School teaching LIFE ORIENTATION and i have been observing how learners in high schools behave which to a certain degree is as a result of affiliation to the occult whether aware or unaware. This will help in creating an awareness to these youngsters about the consequenses of subscribing to satanism. We have seen how learners stab one another without showing remorse and this awareness will help in creating a society which is humane. i will appreciate it if you could get me a copy of the DVD.

    Regards
    Koketso

    • Special Assignment’s investigative documentary ‘Troubled Souls’, shown on SABC 1 on Sunday July 18 and re-aired on Tuesday July 20 on SABC 3, explored the distribution of recorded and alleged confessions of Witchcraft by the New Generation Church (Healing and Deliverance Ministries – Liberating humanity from all the oppression of the Devil) in Lenting village, Limpopo. Its founding spiritual leader, Pastor Bertha Mphahlele, stands accused by victims of her Witchcraft confession scams of offering salvation in exchange for coached confessions of having engaged in alleged Witchcraft activities, including false confessions of murder, human mutilation and cannibalism. Mphahlele claims she simply desires to deliver her congregation from evil spirits and Witchcraft.

      One of her victims, Mrs. Granny Mohlala, whose confession was recorded on a New Generation Church’s DVD and distributed for sale, claims that she was personally told by Pastors M.B Mphahlele and Adam Malaka to implicate her own children and Malaka’s mother in her accusation. She was promised clothing in exchange for her confession and she was not told that her confession would be sold.

      The aired confessions of women and children are highly implausible and sound rehearsed. Many share common themes of being pricked on the 7th finger (by a snake, baboon, or three needles) whilst sleeping and then being required to kill humans (in payment for having become a Witch) to feed either zombies or mermaids. A mother accused both her children of being Witches; the youngest of 4 months, of leading zombies to the river to drink water.

      The provincial head of the South African Council of Churches in Limpopo, Rev. Mautji Pataki condemned the recorded allegations as “theatre” and “not genuine confessions”. Researcher Thias Kgatla, who has spent many years researching the phenomena of Witchcraft accusations in South Africa, described all accusations of Witchcraft in South Africa as “nothing but lies”. The reported exploitation of Witchcraft accusations by some South African churches reinforces fabricated and irrational beliefs about Witchcraft. As a recent UNESCO report entitled Children Accused of Witchcraft: An anthropological study of contemporary practices in Africa confirms, accusations of Witchcraft against children are rising in frequency in several countries in Africa.

      Children accused of witchcraft are subject to psychological and physical violence, first by family members and their circle of friends, then by church pastors or traditional healers. Once accused of witchcraft, children are stigmatized and discriminated for life.

      Although recent South African data on Witch-hunts, including child-Witchcraft accusations is not reflected in the report, its general findings are pertinent to our own country.

      On January 4 2010 Mamakazi Mkhwanazi and her granddaughter Thobile Mbatha were burnt beyond recognition in Gunjaneni (Eastern Cape) after being accused of Witchcraft. On January 13 Badabukile Ndlovu (81), was stabbed 50 times and her throat slit by her neighbour who accused her of Witchcraft, in KwaKwiliza near Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal. On February 3 a 65-year-old woman, Nokitani Tshemesi and her three grandchildren, Phumeza Ntakani aged 13, and Nonkoliseko Malolo and Akhona Malolo both aged 10, were found stabbed to death in their home in Kwaaiman, Eastern Cape. They were accused of Witchcraft.

      Also in February a 68-year-old man, Mbongeni Zungu, died after community members attacked him and burnt down his shack in Umlazi E section, KwaZulu-Natal. They accused him of practicing Witchcraft. On March 1 a Limpopo family identified simply as the Mafogo family were accused of Witchcraft and had their house burnt down in Magaung village at Sekororo, Maake, Limpopo. On May 30 a 70-year-old Eastern Cape woman has been shot and killed, police said on Sunday. Police suspect the killing which took place near Lusikisiki was Witchcraft-related. In Kwazulu-Natal, Vonto Ngcobo was shot by her stepson Mthunzi Ngcobo, a trainee sangoma, after he accused her of practicing Witchcraft. She was found dead in a pool of blood in the impoverished Mkhonjane village. *Villagers are allegedly demanding that women suspected of Witchcraft be eliminated.

      Among UNESCO’s recommendations, the report details strengthening of evidence and understanding of Witchcraft accusations against children, promoting social change through dialogue on Witchcraft accusations, access to child and family welfare services for child victims, promoting the role of health professionals in protecting children accused of Witchcraft and access to the legal system for children accused of Witchcraft, including legal reform to decriminalize Witchcraft. Actual Witches would welcome such legal reform.

      The French notion of “sorcellerie”, as well as the English equivalents, “witchcraft” and “sorcery”, were introduced to Africa by the first European explorers, colonialists and missionaries. The translation of local terms for local realities by the single term “witchcraft”, which was strongly influenced by European history and thereby pejorative, is often inappropriate and can lead to confusion.

      The UNESCO report also recommends the regulation of both traditional healers, who traditionally act as Witch-finders and Pentecostal revivalist churches who advocate Witch-sniffing as a means to spiritual salvation.

      If the allegations against her are true, Pastor Mphahlele’s New Generation Church must face criminal charges for perpetrating fraud. At the very least Mphahlele and her accomplices are guilty of contravening archaic Witchcraft Suppression legislation with regard to the making of false accusations of Witchcraft, as well as the Child Protection Act for implicating children in the making of these false confessions.

      South Africans must not tolerate irrational beliefs that motivate criminal actions and we certainly must not tolerate South African churches promoting prejudicial and wholly irrational beliefs about child-Witchcraft.

      The South African Pagan Rights Alliance will be lodging a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the New Generation Church and its Pastor Bertha Mphahlele for actively promoting fabricated accusations against Witchcraft that both prejudice real Witches and stigmatize innocent children.

  5. Koketso.

    Special Assignment’s investigative documentary ‘Troubled Souls’ can be obtained from ‘Special Assignment’ directly. E-mail truth@sabc.co.za

  6. Special Assignment’s investigative documentary ‘Troubled Souls’, shown on SABC 1 on Sunday July 18 and re-aired on Tuesday July 20 on SABC 3, explored the distribution of recorded and alleged confessions of Witchcraft by the New Generation Church (Healing and Deliverance Ministries – Liberating humanity from all the oppression of the Devil) in Lenting village, Limpopo.

    Its founding spiritual leader, Pastor Bertha Mphahlele, stands accused by victims of her Witchcraft confession scams of offering salvation in exchange for coached confessions of having engaged in alleged Witchcraft activities, including false confessions of murder, human mutilation and cannibalism. Mphahlele claims she simply desires to deliver her congregation from evil spirits and Witchcraft.

    One of her victims, Mrs. Granny Mohlala, whose confession was recorded on a New Generation Church’s DVD and distributed for sale, claims that she was personally told by Pastors M.B Mphahlele and Adam Malaka to implicate her own children and Malaka’s mother in her accusation. She was promised clothing in exchange for her confession and she was not told that her confession would be sold.

    The aired confessions of women and children are highly implausible and sound rehearsed. Many share common themes of being pricked on the 7th finger (by a snake, baboon, or three needles) whilst sleeping and then being required to kill humans (in payment for having become a Witch) to feed either zombies or mermaids. A mother accused both her children of being Witches; the youngest of 4 months, of leading zombies to the river to drink water.

    The provincial head of the South African Council of Churches in Limpopo, Rev. Mautji Pataki condemned the recorded allegations as “theatre” and “not genuine confessions”. Researcher Thias Kgatla, who has spent many years researching the phenomena of Witchcraft accusations in South Africa, described all accusations of Witchcraft in South Africa as “nothing but lies”. The reported exploitation of Witchcraft accusations by some South African churches reinforces fabricated and irrational beliefs about Witchcraft. As a recent UNESCO report entitled Children Accused of Witchcraft: An anthropological study of contemporary practices in Africa confirms, accusations of Witchcraft against children are rising in frequency in several countries in Africa.

    Children accused of witchcraft are subject to psychological and physical violence, first by family members and their circle of friends, then by church pastors or traditional healers. Once accused of witchcraft, children are stigmatized and discriminated for life.

    Although recent South African data on Witch-hunts, including child-Witchcraft accusations is not reflected in the report, its general findings are pertinent to our own country.

    On January 4 2010 Mamakazi Mkhwanazi and her granddaughter Thobile Mbatha were burnt beyond recognition in Gunjaneni (Eastern Cape) after being accused of Witchcraft. On January 13 Badabukile Ndlovu (81), was stabbed 50 times and her throat slit by her neighbour who accused her of Witchcraft, in KwaKwiliza near Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal. On February 3 a 65-year-old woman, Nokitani Tshemesi and her three grandchildren, Phumeza Ntakani aged 13, and Nonkoliseko Malolo and Akhona Malolo both aged 10, were found stabbed to death in their home in Kwaaiman, Eastern Cape. They were accused of Witchcraft.

    Also in February a 68-year-old man, Mbongeni Zungu, died after community members attacked him and burnt down his shack in Umlazi E section, KwaZulu-Natal. They accused him of practicing Witchcraft. On March 1 a Limpopo family identified simply as the Mafogo family were accused of Witchcraft and had their house burnt down in Magaung village at Sekororo, Maake, Limpopo. On May 30 a 70-year-old Eastern Cape woman has been shot and killed, police said on Sunday. Police suspect the killing which took place near Lusikisiki was Witchcraft-related. In Kwazulu-Natal, Vonto Ngcobo was shot by her stepson Mthunzi Ngcobo, a trainee sangoma, after he accused her of practicing Witchcraft. She was found dead in a pool of blood in the impoverished Mkhonjane village. *Villagers are allegedly demanding that women suspected of Witchcraft be eliminated.

    Among UNESCO’s recommendations, the report details strengthening of evidence and understanding of Witchcraft accusations against children, promoting social change through dialogue on Witchcraft accusations, access to child and family welfare services for child victims, promoting the role of health professionals in protecting children accused of Witchcraft and access to the legal system for children accused of Witchcraft, including legal reform to decriminalize Witchcraft. Actual Witches would welcome such legal reform.

    The French notion of “sorcellerie”, as well as the English equivalents, “witchcraft” and “sorcery”, were introduced to Africa by the first European explorers, colonialists and missionaries. The translation of local terms for local realities by the single term “witchcraft”, which was strongly influenced by European history and thereby pejorative, is often inappropriate and can lead to confusion.

    The UNESCO report also recommends the regulation of both traditional healers, who traditionally act as Witch-finders and Pentecostal revivalist churches who advocate Witch-sniffing as a means to spiritual salvation.

    If the allegations against her are true, Pastor Mphahlele’s New Generation Church must face criminal charges for perpetrating fraud. At the very least Mphahlele and her accomplices are guilty of contravening archaic Witchcraft Suppression legislation with regard to the making of false accusations of Witchcraft, as well as the Child Protection Act for implicating children in the making of these false confessions.

    South Africans must not tolerate irrational beliefs that motivate criminal actions and we certainly must not tolerate South African churches promoting prejudicial and wholly irrational beliefs about child-Witchcraft.

    The South African Pagan Rights Alliance has already lodged a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission against the New Generation Church and its Pastor Bertha Mphahlele for actively promoting fabricated accusations against Witchcraft that both prejudice real Witches and stigmatize innocent children.

  7. Hi
    I am a Final student studying Bachelor of Informtion Science at University ofPretoria

    What about indigenous knowledge? We turn 2 forget that people hv knowledge that is not documented or digitised and it can not b proven by science.it might b explict or tacit knowledge.

    That is where the issue of God comes in.Jesus Christ was sent 2 dis earth to save the soul of a human being.From the book of John3:1-14 is a story of a man who was also confused about spiritual being,so Jesus Christ explain spiritual birth 2 him,so if de is spiritual birth therefore der is spiritual attach.

    WHY people go all around the world seeking protection?the answer is they hv realise that der are spiritual attacks.

    • Accusation is NOT proof!

      Any indigenous knowledge that teaches that it is ok to lie, cheat and murder, amounts to fraud, not sacred knowledge!

    • There are those who believe that “witchcraft” forms part of indigenous African knowledge systems, and that accusations of “witchcraft” must be understood in that context. I say, any traditional knowledge system that justifies false accusation, assault and murder constitutes a fraudulent crime, not sacred knowledge.

  8. The internet is a enormous place now and Africa is starting to truly open up her secrets, witchcraft not the least of all. It was/is the true earth religion of the pre Adamite people,originally innocent aboriginal earthlings, corrupted by the Cainites. Cain’s mark upon his forehead (brow) was/still is, brown eye color that god gave him so the pre Adamites would accept him, and not kill him. Cain was/is the god Cernunnos of the Celts, (Cronos of the Greeks) also Orpheus (a pederast and practicer of beastiality) and many shameful rites exist in witchcraft today as a result of him. He is a man who I believe is still alive today. Witchcraft is the religion that was common to all mankind, as attested by the ancients. It is uncommon for Negros to share a similar genetic disease with so many other races as Treacher Collins Syndrome which is realativley rare, it is in all races as is Witchcraft is. It is caused by the common witches vice of beastiality and is now being operated on @ birth so that no one will be able to know, or if information is forthcoming to a prospective suiter they will be fed false facts of what it is and how harmful it is (i.e. early cancer respitory problems deafness and dimwittedness) It is a concious attack against Adams children as a “revenge for Cain” The photographs of animal/human hybrids from the west of africa (and recently Egypt) left me agape @ the first time I was shown them. This is horrific nigromancy, what the Haitian voodoo dolls are just a facsimile of. In the west magicians will pay high prices for them preserved in jars. Certain celtic satanic groups in the west ( brown eyed Scotch) are responsible for most of the disappearance of kids and they breed them with animals and experiment on them, i.e. practice Magic on them.

  9. Sorry to bother again, but consider your problem in South Africa (witchcraft) is accompanied with the highest rates of Rhesus negative blood group in all of Africa

  10. Those accusing the church of doing wrong when casting out demons,exposing the works of the devil are still in darkness and need deliverance. You are busy investigating churches…trying to destroy the Lord’s work,be careful. God is watching. My advice to you SABC,repent! You are provoking God. We cannot be stopped,it’s biblical to cast out devils and expose witchcraft and satanism. Jesus is Lord.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *