Principal accused of witchcraft

2010-08-04 19:17

Komatipoort - An Mpumalanga school principal has been accused of witchcraft after he criticised his community for torching two houses during a witch-hunt.

A mob, including some of his own pupils, disrupted classes at Phumula Secondary School in Mananga, on the Swaziland border, on Monday.

They demanded that the principal, Philip Mnisi, resign.

"He condemned us for burning the houses, and now children at the school are complaining that they see animals," said Themba Maseko, on behalf of the protesters.

He said the animals were the principal's familiars and were used for black magic.

Mnisi, who had gone to a community meeting on July 31 to appeal for calm after the torchings, said he would not go to the police as he considered the matter a personal issue.

He said he would deal with his accusers himself.

Houses torched

“I, myself, will deal with those who say I'm a witch," he said on Wednesday.

"I won't say what I'll do, but I'll make sure that they feel what I felt when they wanted me dead."

Mbuzini police spokesperson Selby Simelane said on Wednesday that police had been called to intervene at the school on Monday.

“We managed to stop them from vandalising the school property and also told them to sit down and talk about this,” said Simelane.

He also confirmed that two houses had been torched on July 23, but said no arrests had been made yet.

The victims of the witch-hunts have since repaired the damage and are still living in their homes.

Spokesperson for the Ehlanzeni region of Mpumalanga's education department, Mfana Lushaba, said on Wednesday that calm had been restored at the school and that classes were once again being held.