Wed Jul 23 15:44:20 SAST 2014

The devil in our midst

Mar 25, 2012 | Madala Thepa |

IT was mass hysteria on Human Rights Day in Evaton on the Vaal, minutes after the fires were put out in Sharpeville.

MONSTER: Community members in Evaton, Vaal, beat up a man in full view of the police, in a display of what is described as public rebellion against satanism. Picture by Elvis Ntombela

 I could not go to the police because they cannot be trusted 

Stephen Zondo, the Bishop of Rivers of Living Waters Ministries was accused of being a Satanist.

The youth put out a full scale witch hunt on the streets and clashed with the police. A dark energy permeated the township.

Cars were stoned, petrol bombs thrown at the armoured vehicles and police ran out of ammunition.

120 boxes of rubber bullets with 32 rounds in each were expended within hours, and another batch was requested but still the young turks would not back down. They were incensed.

The rumours that started last year in December of Satanism, apparently fuelled by local station Theta FM, came to fruition on Tuesday and spilled over to Human Rights Day.

The only thing that could calm the mob down was to see out the day's task - to burn down the church and have Zondo crucified in what will be the final "an eye for an eye" morality act.

The church, situated at the corner of Baltimore and Old Golden Highway road, is an unremarkable huge structure of brick and mortar and does not offer much in terms of the look except that it is flourishing.

The church has more than 7500 members, according to a statement issued in response to the Satanism claims.

Zondo is allegedly a member of a satanic social network which is said to possess "knowledge of the paranormal". High on the list of charges is the alleged kidnapping of young people and turning them into "religious slaves" - basically manipulating them through purported elaborate rituals.

And the proof of satanic practices, says the youth, lies in the last digits 666 on the church's phone number displayed in the yard. The biblical symbol known as the Mark of The Beast found in Revelation 13:16-18, is the first proof, according to the community, that Zondo is a Satanist. The youth also list other "occultists" or "Satanists" who include other pastors around Gauteng.

A man who did not want to be named says the pastor gets his powers from a sacred mountain in QwaQwa, and that on Monday one of the members turned into a snake in full view of the community. A child was allegedly kidnapped and left for two days without food. Fact or fiction, the recurrent theme in the community is that this is true.

Four young people were allegedly shot execution-style by members of the church after they burned down another church on Short street just off the Old Golden Highway road.

Teboho Tsehle says her 12-year-old daughter Palesa was taken away from school by elders of the church under the pretence that her parents were waiting for her at the church.

"They hypnotised my child. A man who prayed for her suddenly developed a third eye on the forehead. He counted the numbers 1 to 7 and my daughter started to speak in tongues. And since that day there is an unexplained behaviour that I see in her," says the 40-year-old father.

Asked if there are noticeable changes in the child's behaviour, Tsehle simply said her demeanour has changed.

"They gave her instructions to kill me and my other child." He says he took the child to the local Child Protection Unit.

"I could not go to the police because they cannot be trusted," he says.

Word on the street is that pastor Zondo has allegedly corrupted the police with bribes and anything on him will not work.

The church has denied everything said about it.

"Thetha FM, which is entrusted with informing, educating, entertaining and uniting the community created a platform by dedicating a better part of airplay in spreading the rumour that Bishop Zondo is practising witchcraft and kidnapping people.

"But what is strange about these allegations is that not a single criminal case has been laid against the leader of the church with the SAPS. On February 16, the church and its leadership met with the radio station to try to resolve the matter. After intense deliberations, the management of the radio station made an undertaking that they will cease broadcasting these defamatory allegations against Bishop Zondo, but they never stopped," the statement says.

"The church denies these rumours and we are saddened by what occurred in the past two days. Our condolences to the families that lost their loved ones."

In the evening after a Human Rights Day church service, the congregants were trapped in the yard, unable to leave until they were escorted by the police. Those with no cars had to face the prospect of running into the young men who lurked in every corner of the township.

People simply voicing ANC's betrayal

THURSDAYS are suitably boring at the Snorting Grunter - that youth-compatible drinking hole where even the dullest of men can hold an opinion and be stubbornly arrogant about it.

\You can always find someone in your bracket, someone to ferment rebellion with. Everything goes. We clear the cookies from the browser, if you know what I mean.

The debates are more open than the post-coital "so-what-do-we-call-this" chat. We see the seamier side of democracy or, as it were, the dystopian harbingers of this country after downing a few. Suddenly the ugly picture of the simmering witch appears.

The topic was Sharpeville and the enthralling public meltdowns in the townships, famously known as service delivery protests.

The randomness of the strikes says something about the state of the nation.

Batho Pele remains a scripted gimmick. Every day is a stark reminder that the poor do not fit into this fluid "masterpiece" called democracy.

The impression is that to be welcomed into this bus you will have to be bound and gagged. But the question remains. Why was the Sharpeville commemoration moved to Kliptown, a place where the Freedom Charter was adopted?

What is the link, in case we are missing the point? To some the Freedom Charter is a vague document that symbolises the ruling party's grave compromises and ineffectiveness.

Kliptown reminds us that there were flaws in the liberation narrative of the ANC. It reminds us that freedom remains a scare tactic of our times. To the few who still live off the proceeds of Black Consciousness and its philosophy, Sharpeville will always be synonymous with the PAC and its late leader Robert Sobukwe.

For as long as acknowledgements are not done, the people of Sharpeville are justified to grind the socio-politics grievance machine.

Here is the thing. The commemoration was purely moved to erase memory - to deny the survivors and victims of Sharpeville a chance in the sun. It is a cheap, nasty insult and a fine example of how power has become more user-friendly in the so-called democratic South Africa.

And since we are munching down on the ANC's history and its reputation, it will be interesting to get hold of the classified minutes of the Codesa talks to see how this land was divvied up and how far the compromises run.

Comments

Wed Jul 23 15:44:20 SAST 2014 ::

COMMENTS [ 33 ]

    Mar 29, 2012

    DIKENKENG

    @Mamokete.tjhe mokgethwa maikutlo a hao a phahame maan.tjo nnete eya baba maan
    Mar 29, 2012

    DIKENKENG

    nnananyana dont you think mamokete o hloka dithapelo or maybe they must trace her so that she can give her side of the story @ thetha fm dis coming sunday,ngwana oo wa batho o possessed shame.Mamokete for your information,thetha fm's licence wont be taken away,keep on whising mokgethwa
    Apr 13, 2012

    Happym

    Nnananyana, People choose to be fooled. They dont ask questions, that why they believe that by going to a particular church they`ll get a job/wife/be loved and get all the luck in the world. The root to all these problems lies in the need to have money and a promise of a long healthy life. Lets face it, people are dying of AIDS and one of the promises given by theses Pastors is healing. These kids are promised money and a good life OVERNITE. Its the choices they make. Parents please teach children values of life. Bafuna ukubanomntotho bengawusebenzelanga. What is that? There is no short cut in life people. Read your bibles carefully people, false prophets are there, demons are there but there is only one solution believing in the Word of the Lord not the Bishop, Prophet or dingaka. Sober up people and do the right thing. Make right choices and never allow media/ditsotsi to tell you wha to listen to. If you hate Thetha FM, DONT TUNE IN. if a girl says I am a Queen of Evil listen TOTHAT Evil and know what is going on out there but make your choice and dont confuse innocent Souls out there. Thetha FM must also do research and talk to people with facts not hear say. Remember people went as far as Testifyuing falley against Jesus Christ. 1. Know where you stand 2. Read your Bible 3. Dont cast the stone if you have not sinned 4. Dont Judge
    Mar 27, 2012

    Sbongz87

    Rumours spread like a wilkd fire, people just believe in a whole lot of hogwash.... Dikengnkeng wena did you actually see any of this? people in the vaal that believe all of this are just naive. if this was a pastor from northern africa this wouldn't be happening. some people go to church for the wrong reasons eg: getting rich & when that doesn't happen they turn against the pastor and bring about fake allegations. i don't belong to this church yet i can see that there's a lot of jealousy. people should just focus on their own lives for progress & leave Bishop Zondo & his church alone. we are really living in a nation filled with so much hatred & jealousy it's really disgusting. bare iIF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM JOIN THEM, PEOPLE HATE SEEING OTHERS PROGRESS.

    THIS PASTOR IS NOT GUILTY UNTILL PROVEN GUILTY BY THE COURT OF LAW, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE TO JUDGE HIM? AY SUKA MAN!
    Mar 28, 2012

    DIKENKENG

    sbongz87
    These is not a legal matter its a spiritual warfare,taking it to court its just a waste of time.As i said previously that proof is on its way maybe u will tell a different story.I am against the issue of people wanting to destroy the church.
    Apr 1, 2012

    Zorsepower

    DIKENKENG
    If this is a spiritual matter? then the proof must be spiritual and why are people attacking each other physically?
    Apr 19, 2012

    UveshSingh

    DK are you sure about what you saying, or utlwa gore le wena you can say something, if you guys don't belive then live other people with there belives, stop saying something wich your not sure about thanks. ME....!
    Oct 13, 2012

    MariaMonareng

    sis we uke waya lapho uyobona ukuthi benzani mna ngezwa ngalokho ngadela ngokubona .

    futhi ngaya nasemthandazweni angibonanga lutho olukhulunywa yilaba
    into angayithola ukuvuseleleka emphefumulweni
    Oct 13, 2012

    MariaMonareng

    Iam catholic there also it also said they were also call names Ijoin them and i am fine

    Mar 28, 2012

    Mamokete

    DIKENKENG as far as i'm concerned you and theta fm can go to the nearest hell,for spreading rumors about innocent people without proof.I hope they terminate the licence of that pathetic theta fm for contributing to societal violence and disorder.
    TjatjaRag!
    Mar 28, 2012

    Nnananyana

    I think wena Mamokete you are already possessed. Or o kile wa robala le yena Bafana that’s why o mo protecta. You really sound like Linzos back in the day.
    Mar 26, 2012

    DIKENKENG

    The-covenantEntertainment

    Hence i am saying i wish Thetha fm can reach the whole country,but unfortunately it does not(vaal community radio).i understand that you are shocked,i also went through the same coz i loved Bishop Z preachings

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