Demons' force 8 pupils out of school
SHEWULA – About eight pupils from this area have dropped out of school due to spiritual beliefs.
The pupils believe they are attacked by demons, which make learning difficult.
These are some of over 20 pupils who were in and out of school in February this year due to the attacks.
Four of these are from Shewula High School, the others from Mbandzamane and Majembeni Primary Schools.
Some of the pupils have been taken to Bhunya to be prayed for by Pastor Muzi Manana who has pitched a tent for revivals in the area.
The pupils, in the different versions where they describe what happens to them, claim they are being used by certain spirits during the night.
They believe they are being called by certain people they can identify in real life and are made to travel to areas they do not know and carry out certain duties during the night.
The pupils who gave an interview with the consent of their parents are Pile Sambo who is from Mbandzamane Primary, Bhekisile Mhlanga and Lokutsela Masi-mula both from Shewula High.
All three claim to have started having problems in January this year.
Pile said he would often hear voices calling him at night and he would agree to go but is not sure whether this happened in the physical.
He said, "I would go into some water that I believed was the Mbuluzi River where I would meet people I know from school and we would be assigned duties like working in a jewellery manufac-turing company."
He said they would travel by what appeared to be a bus.
Pile however failed to narrate the process of manufacturing ear-rings and necklaces during the interview.
He said he only told his parents about this after his father confronted him and asked why he isolated himself and left the living room each time the family gathered to watch television.
Lokutsela on the other hand said she was returning from the school’s competitions at Simunye early in the year when she had the first encounter.
"I had E450 which I had been given by my elder brother. I was supposed to use E50 and hand over the E400 to my mother. On my way to my brother’s house where I had to sleep since I had missed transport home I tripped and fell. I realised that I was bleeding and there already was a pool of blood on the ground. I must have been unconscious for a while because when I regained consciousness I stood but was shocked to notice that there was no blood and it appeared as if it had been wiped away," said Lokutsela.
She said she went on to sleep at her brother’s place but at night she heard a voice asking her if she wanted to have more money and she agreed, but she woke up before it went further and only realised that all the money she was carrying had disappeared.
Upon her return home she narrated the ordeal and her parents never took it seriously until she started going away with people who called her at night.
Lokutsela alleges that she would ride on a snake, apparently in her sleep, and was assigned by what she said was the ruler of an underground palace, to fetch jewellery from certain shops in town and take them to the palace where they were prayed for.
Lokutsela was reluctant to elaborate on what the prayer entailed and only said it was meant to transfer certain spirits into the jewellery, which would eventually transfer to a customer upon purchase.
The two pupils’ parents said they met all the parents of other affected children in the community and went to the school to report the matter.
"We were convinced that the problem emanated from the school because all the children pointed out a certain girl whom they said would appear at night to call them. We requested that the principal allow Pastor Manana to hold a prayer session and it subsided for a few days after the prayer but attacked again until we decided to send our children over to where Manana is," said Pile’s mother.
Majembeni Principal, Idah Dlamini said the two pupils who were affected by demons at her school were taken home by their parents.
"It has since subsided because we took some of the pupils to be prayed for," she said.
Bucopho of the area, Khanyisile Dladla said she was also aware of the matter and is trying to get help.
"I am currently in Durban but we really need help because the situation is becoming serious and causing pupils to abandon school," she said.
...schools, REO aware of demons, dropouts
SHEWULA – Principal of Shewula High School said one of the pupils who dropped out was officially withdrawn to retain peace at the school.
Nomsa Dlamini said one of the pupil’s grandfather requested that he leaves school, because the community was scorning him after he confessed to being a devil worshipper.
She said parents ganged up and said it would not be proper to have the Form I pupil mingle with the others because he would transmit ‘spirits’ to them.
Dlamini said when the demons attacked early this year she wrote to the REO and requested that a pastor be invited to pray for the pupils.
"The pastor came and held a service and the demons subsided. It is now occasional that pupils will be attacked but it is now longer than the first time," she said. Dlamini said she was aware some pupils were not at school due to the problem.
She said she then assigned the school’s career guidance teachers to talk to the pupils and most of them confessed to having been recruited by their colleagues.
Tuesday Tsabedze, one of the career guidance teachers said, "About two of them said they started this kind of work when they were in primary school."
All three teachers disputed the claim that the pupils developed the mysterious illness at the high school.
Lubombo REO Wellington Mdluli said he was aware of the matter and was approached for permission to invite a pastor.
He said as a ministry they encouraged church services in schools at least once a week.
"We understand that we were brought up under Christianity, which is the pillar of the Swazi nation but as long as it does not affect lessons," he said.
Mdluli said he would not delve much on the issue of inviting pastors because they were also concerned about people who would point fingers at others due to spiritual influence.
He said he is aware that pupils from the three schools experienced demon-related problems and said there was little they could do about those who have dropped out but to send over their career guidance staff to talk to them.
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