The South African Police Services special unit tasked with combating crime linked to occult activities was never disbanded. It merely went underground because the glare of publicity sometimes hindered investigations.
This was disclosed to Gateway News by the Commander of SAPS Occult Crime Unit, Dr Attie Lamprecht, who said there are at least 20 Occult Unit investigators in SA who have been specially trained to investigate occult-related crimes.
Reports that the unit was being re-established 15 years after it was disbanded surfaced last year when it was reported that former Occult Unit Commander Dr Kobus Jonker had trained three SAPS investigators in the Eastern Cape as part of a national drive by the SAPS to crack down on muti murders and other occult-related crimes. Jonker led the unit from when it was established in 1981 until he retired in 2001 after suffering a heart attack.
The supposed disbanding of the unit was believed to be as a result of complaints that its activities infringed on the constitutional right to religious freedom which even accommodate Satanism as a legitimate religion.
Indeed, the South African Pagan Rights Alliance (SAPRA) and Satanists were quick off the mark in voicing their objections to alleged religious prejudice after reports emerged in September about Jonker training officers to investigate occult-related crimes. SAPRA is currently objecting to an initiative in which Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy signed a memorandum of understanding in March with faith-based organisations , to develop an “anti-harmful religious practices” strategy for schools. The signing followed incidents in which a secondary school learner died in an alleged satanic killing by other learners.
Complaint to SAHRC
SA Human Rights Commission spokesman, Mr Isaac Mangena, confirmed that the SAHRC has received a formal complaint regarding remarks made by Creecy. He said the complaint will be investigated.
SAPRA director Daman Leff told media that pagans fear that their children may be victimised as a result of the proposed “harmful practices” policy. He said the religion of Satanism does not encourage violence but that children who commit heinous crimes may use Satanism or the devil as an excuse for their criminal behaviour.
The fact that the Occult-Unit has been operating since 1981 indicates that police do take occult-related crime seriously. A recent internal memo to station commanders in a cluster in KwaZulu-Natal warns of planned satanic rituals with the possibility of children being sacrificed. Current unit commander, Lamprecht, himself has been quoted as saying that although Satanism is not a crime, it is a belief system that leads to crime.
In an interview Jonker dismissed claims by paganists that Satanism does not involve violence. He said crime statistics prove otherwise, and “right now there is a case in court involving a crime and Satanism”. He said that Satanists are mostly adults and school children involved are mostly ‘dabblers’.
He said that one of the main reasons behind increased occult and satanic involvement in schools, is that the “hearts of the father’s in society today are far from God”.
He cited absentee fathers and dysfunctional families as a reason for a dysfunctional society.
Veteran anti-drug activist and founder of ‘Extreme Freedom’, Dr Aldo Krige, said in an interview that from his frequent experience of going into schools, covens are very isolated, but children are delving into the occult.
He said that a spirit of anarchy in society is bringing Satanism into the schools and that Satanists use anarchy to damage families.
Krige also said that people who go to witch doctors are opening doors to Satanism, as witch doctors are actually practicing Satanism whether they believe it or not.
After almost 30 years in the field he has found that the only way that people are set free from Satanism, anarchy and drugs is by a decision for Jesus Christ and then undergoing discipleship first before rehabilitation.