Thursday, 7 July 2016

Witch hunts intensify in Limpopo's Musina

The spate of witch-hunts launched by Musina residents continued when a church run by the relative of a man who confessed to being a witch was attacked.

The Women of Faith Prayer Ministries in Nancefield towship was stoned on Wednesday night. The church is headed by Florah Muleya.

Nancefield residents went on the rampage on Tuesday night, burning down the house of Samuel Ndadza, who is Muleya's brother-in-law.

This was after Ndadza had appeared on the Charis TV, owned by the Charis Missionary Church, confessing to being a witch.

Ndadza and his family have since been taken to safety by the police.

The windows of Muleya's house, which is situated near a shelter where church services are held, were shattered by stone throwers.

Sowetan saw frantic church members helping to remove furniture from the house, fearing the attackers would return.
Witch hunts intensify in Limpopo's Musina
Church member Jimmy Kgalushi said an agitated mob threw bricks and stones at the house.

"They were shouting very loudly. They wanted to make sure that they burn this house and the church. We took the same stones they were throwing at us and started to hit back at them," Kgalushi said.

He said the chaos continued until police arrived on the scene 45 minutes later.

Residents have been on a violent rampage since Ndadza made the startling confession that he practised witchcraft.

The video recording which was aired on the Charis TV channel sparked outrage in the area.

Ndadza's house was attacked twice and ultimately burned down on Tuesday evening.

Residents have continued their witch-hunt, resulting in 17 people being arrested for public violence.

Yesterday, municipal workers were cleaning the streets of burnt tyres and stones from another night of heated demonstration.

"They will definitely come back to burn this house. They want to fulfil their mission. There is nothing we can do. If it is the will of God then let it be," Kgalushi said.

Muleya's brother Willie Raseluma said talks to attack his sister's church started after Ndadza's house was burnt.

"People started saying the root cause of all this witchcraft is this ministry." But Raseluma said they would not move from the area.

"Our church will be here, we are not leaving because this is the will and purpose of God. They [the community] must try and forgive Ndadza. We are pleading with the community to stop this and repent," Raseluma said.

On Wednesday, Limpopo government spokesman Phuti Seloba called on charismatic churches to stop encouraging people to make dangerous public statements.

Seloba called on the South African Council of Churches to help resolve the issue.

However, Raseluma said the Charis Church did nothing wrong in broadcasting Ndadza's confession.

"This is what other ministries do all over the country. Ndadza was seeking deliverance and there is nothing wrong with that," he argued.

A community meeting was scheduled to take place at the Lesley Manyathela Stadium yesterday.

"We have to meet and talk about these witches. They are killing our people," said community member Samuel Mafela.
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