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image Siko Primary school.

VUSWENI – A strong belief in witchcraft at Vusweni near Mbabane has seen four pupils being stopped from attending school after their father was accused of allegedly bewitching the head teacher.

The other pupils at the school were ordered to stop attending school for a week as the community was rocked by the witchcraft allegations.
The parent, who has been accused of witchcraft, has been allegedly abused, insulted and threatened with death during a parents meeting. He said residents have also threatened to burn down his homestead.

The four pupils, aged six, seven, 10 and 14, were expelled from Siko Primary School following allegations levelled against their father that he practised witchcraft. The school is located in the remote village of Vusweni, about 45 kilometres from Mbabane. The head teacher has claimed his body became itchy and the hand he had used to beat the child, became swollen. He said he began to vomit blood and was admitted to a hospital for over three weeks.

The matter was reported to the Hhohho Regional Education Officer by the head teacher. The parent yesterday went to the REO’s offices to register his complaint regarding how he and his family have been treated.
The father of the pupils, who will not be identified to protect the identity of the children affected, said his children last attended school around April 4, 2014. He said the children stopped attending school after he engaged the head teacher, Bhekumusa Nkambule.

He said the head teacher had administered severe corporal punishment to his 14-year-old child and he approached him to register his concern. “I went to the head teacher after one of my children came back home after being thrashed at school. I told him I was not fighting him but wished he could administer punishment without causing extensive harm to the children. We left it at that,” he said.

He said after he had gone to the school, a rumour started circulating alleging that he practised witchcraft.
“I learned that one of my children is said to have allegedly confessed and said I practised witchcraft. The child they claim said I ride an owl is aged seven. They said the child had also informed the other pupils that I had said they should miss school so that I could strike the school with lightning, harming all Grade VI pupils with their teacher,” he said.
He wondered why adults would believe something so farfetched. He said after a number of days had gone by, he was summoned to the school for an urgent parents meeting.

The parent alleged that in this meeting he was together with other parents when he was notified that the school could no longer function properly as a teacher had fallen sick after he administered corporal punishment to one of the pupils.
“I was called to a parents meeting where I was informed that the school could not function properly because a certain parent had bewitched the head teacher after he had thrashed a pupil,” he said. He said during the course of the meeting, the head teacher informed the gathering that he fell sick after he had thrashed a particular child.

He alleged that the head teacher disclosed to the gathering that he became sick after he had beaten a particular child. He said the head teacher alleged that his body got itchy and thereafter his hand got swollen and he started to vomit blood.

He said the school was closed down for almost a week after the head teacher had fallen sick due to administering corporal punishment to his child. He wondered why he was being singled out for allegedly being responsible for the teacher’s sickness.

“I don’t know why they claim I bewitched him as I only approached him offering advice that he should not be too harsh on the children,” he said.


Head teacher expects pupils in class

VUSWENI – The head teacher confirmed that the pupils were told to remain at home for a week during the witchcraft controversy.
He said the teachers, though, did go to school.

On another note, he said the school administration was waiting for the pupils to return to school as they were never expelled.
The head teacher of Siko Primary School, Bhekumusa Nkambule, further said he had engaged the Regional Education Officer (REO) about his predicament.

“We are expecting the pupils back in class as they were never expelled.
“Their absence from school is a violation of their right to education which is also supported through the Free Primary Education programme,” he said.
Nkambule said the pupils were never expelled but were voluntarily withdrawn from the school by their father. This was seconded by one of the teachers at the school.

The teacher said they now lived in fear of what might happen to them each time they thrashed a pupil.
The Minister of Education and Training, Phineas Magagula, when reached for comment, could not comment as he said he was otherwise engaged and could not make a statement at the time.

Comments (6 posted):

Dre Melli-Flous on 21/05/2014 05:28:31
Is the head teacher sure that he got witchcrafted by the parent??? Does she/he has an evident about that???
Pashu on 21/05/2014 13:15:19
Yoyoyo that one can be all lies,the confession of the young one can be he/she was threatened by those who were questioning . let stop accusing people buphi kukholwa lapho.to the family I sent God's protection and be strong Hiz the protector of our lives
Fruitry Suthu on 21/05/2014 14:38:15
Stupid HeadTeacher!! Which University did he even go to.. mxm.. Go and die of your silly sicknesses and leave innocent kids alone!!
MAGAGULA HLONIPHILE on 21/05/2014 17:22:25
bantfu belukholo loluncane bayahlupha mani.HEADTEACHER ASE UBE NEFAITH
sizwe on 22/05/2014 00:09:21
i think the parent did perfom witchcraft to the headteacher, why is it that after punishing his child he got sick...what makes it to suspicious more is that he went to complain about the punishment given to his child
Busi N Mahlalela on 23/05/2014 06:30:58
I think the Headteacher must provide sufficient evidence for that.

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