'Possessed' children beaten

2009-03-31 00:00

The chaos at Mpophemeni High School escalated to new heights yesterday, as local spiritual leaders hit pupils with wet ropes in an attempt to “exorcise the evil spirits” from them.

Pupils were screaming, falling to the ground and shaking as they threw fits.

Yesterday, the hysteria extended to boys. Parents were frantic as they watched the spectacle from outside the school gates and some took their children out of the school.

A spiritual leader stood on one side beating a girl with a rope and splashing her with water, telling her to say “Get out of me Satan”.

The havoc of the past few days continued yesterday morning during prayers in assembly.

Religious leaders had been called to conduct special prayers at the school after the “demonic outbreak” last Friday. The hysteria started again yesterday in spite of the presence of men and women of the cloth who had begun to cast out the demons.

Pupils were hallucinating, screaming and jumping as they were overcome by seizures.

The situation was clearly out of control. Pupils who were not affected tried to help those who were screaming and jumping in pain. Parents and community members were driving in and out of the school taking affected pupils away in their vehicles.

A grade nine pupil who also displayed the symptoms on Monday said there were more pupils affected yesterday. She was not sure of the figures, but it seemed there were more than 30.

Parents and members of the community gathered at the school grounds chanting, “We want our children to go home, close the school until the situation has been dealt with”. Other parents did not want to negotiate about the situation. “I have three boys here, all in grade eight, and I am taking them home until this problem has been dealt with. They are already affected by the situation,” said one of the parents.

Ward manager Maziwakhe Duma refused to shut down the school, saying he does not have the authority to do so. He told parents that pupils were supposed to be writing tests for continuous assessment.

“As a parent I understand your concern, but this school has one of the highest pass rates in this region and if these children do not write their tests they will fail at the end of the year.”

However, he promised to report the situation to Education superintendent-general Cassius Lubisi.

Duma told parents to return today at 10 am when he would give a response from the department.

The Education Department had not commented on the hysteria or the fact that people were beating the “demons” out of the children, by the time of going to press yesterday.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.