Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Newly rich targeted as witches, South African police warn

Agence France-Presse
Filed Under: Belief (Faith), Poverty, Education

JOHANNESBURG—Newly rich South Africans are increasingly accused of witchcraft and attacked by their neighbors, police in the northern province of Limpopo said Wednesday.

"Now you are a witch because you are driving a four-by-four. This is the mentality that people have," police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi, told the Sapa news agency.

"Once people start amassing wealth, getting bigger houses and sending their children to better schools, it means you are engaging yourself in witchcraft.

"People think something is helping you do that and then they accuse you of witchcraft."

Mulaudzi said Limpopo had seen four attacks in the past three months in villages where alleged witches were either assaulted or killed.

In the most recent incident, an 81-year-old grandmother and her 26-year-old granddaughter were stoned to death and then set alight by a mob in a small village Sunday after being accused of witchcraft, Sapa reported.
Nine people have been arrested in connection with the killings.

Mulaudzi said villagers who had left home to earn money in urban areas were becoming afraid to return and build new houses in their communities. He blamed a lack of education in rural areas for misconceptions about the upwardly mobile.

"We still have a long way to go in educating people," he said. "This thing is very depressing."

No comments:

Post a Comment