EASTERN Province education officer, Pilila Jere has demanded a full report from Katete Girls Boarding High School management on the expulsion of five pupils accused of practicing satanism.
Ms Jere said in an interview in Chipata yesterday that she was shocked to learn that the pupils had been sent away from the school without proper investigations and formal communication with her office.
Ms Jere said one of the parents whose child was sent away from the institution which is run by the Reformed Church in Zambia (RCZ) complained to her about the school management's decision.
"It is saddening and shocking that pupils were sent away from the school on suspicion of practicing Satanism. Such allegations require exhaustive investigation," she said.
Meanwhile, on a South African news site called IOL, there's a story about two accused murderers whose defense is apparently "some Satanists made us do it": Money, sex blamed for Lotter claim by Tania Broughton, June 22 2009.
And, according to a South African news site called The Citizen, the SA Police Service has a "Satanism unit" and purported "Satanism experts": "JOHANNESBURG - Satanism expert Dr Kobus Jonker, former head of the SA Police Service’s satanism unit, is to evaluate convicted schoolboy murderer Morné Harmse to assist the South Gauteng High Court in deciding whether the boy was out of touch with reality because of 'influences from the dark side' when he fatally wounded a fellow pupil with a samurai sword," according to the news story Satanism expert to quiz killer, 6/16/2009. I have to wonder if these "Satanism experts" are anything like the fundamentalist Christian "Satanism experts" who stoked the Satanic panic of the 1980's and early 1990's here in the U.S.A.
P.S.: Just now, after posting the above, I came across another AllAfrica.com story from today: Zambia: We Killed 300 People, Ex-Satanist Teens Testify, Times of Zambia, 2 July 2009. This story is about two teenagers being sued for slander by Kamba Ward PF councillor Oscar Himanga, whom they claim initiated them into Satanism eight years ago. Supposedly, at Himanga's instigation, they then killed hundreds of people by magical means. The boys made some pretty darned fanciful claims, such as, "The boy testified that the next day, Mr Himanga took him and his friend to an old warehouse in Kawama where they found white men who were half humans and half snakes" and "He said after they were initiated, he had powers to turn into a dog and two people had seen him do that."