Lesufi stirs a witch’s cauldron

Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi. Picture: Refilwe Modise

“If it is not kisses, it’s guns and nowadays it is witchcraft”

South African witches have called on Gauteng MEC for education, Panyaza Lesufi to cease and desist from imposing “highly prejudicial views” following a comment he made on Tuesday, saying television scenes of witchcraft plays a role in ill-discipline among some school-going children.

Responding to a question by The Citizen at a media briefing on what he thought leads to ill-discipline in schools, Lesufi did not mince his words when he said instead of prime time TV teaching children about important life lessons, kissing, violence and witchcraft is being prioritised.

“If it is not kisses, it’s guns and nowadays it is witchcraft, and honestly speaking this really worries me big time because when you go to developed countries, during prime time, pupils are told important things about life.

He said the issue of ill-discipline, was also a societal problem which requires everybody’s involvement.

The South African Pagan Rights Alliance (Sapra) said under the leadership of Lesufi, South African schools have been encouraged to openly discriminate against minority occult faiths regarded by him as “harmful”.

“Lesufi’s recent comment regarding witchcraft is yet another example of how the department of education demonstrates absolute disregard for both the national policy on religion and education and the bill of rights,” said Sapra director Damon Leff.

“In its 2016 Issue Paper on the Review of the Witchcraft Suppression Act, the South African Law Reform Commission recently acknowledged witchcraft as a constitutionally protected religion, and affirmed that South African witches are entitled to the same constitutional rights as any other South African.”

Leff said South African witches call on MEC Lesufi to cease and desist from “imposing his personal and highly prejudicial religious views against pupils who have the legal and constitutional right to embrace alternative religions, and to respect the right to freedom of religion for all South African citizens.

– Caxton News Service

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