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20141004 Sowetan Sensationalizes Religion In Schools By Using “Vampires”

Satanists call for rights – Groups want to work in schools

By Bongekile Macupe Education Reporter | Oct 04, 2014

SATANIC groups are set to meet Gauteng MEC for education Panyaza Lesufi to ask that they be allowed to practice their religion in schools.

Lesufi told Sowetan on the sidelines of an announcement about matric exams that the groups approached him at a religious forum.

“I had a religious forum and everyone is invited. They were also in that meeting and asked that we allow them to also practice their religion in our schools,” he said.

Sowetan understands that the groups who go by the names of Pagans and Vampires also approached the previous MEC for education Barbara Creecy with the same request.

Lesufi said the groups requested that they be allowed to practice and recruit pupils.

“Because of the risk and the danger involved, I declined. But I agreed to a one-on-one meeting with them and I’m going to meet them when the schools reopen,” he said.

The department previously fought the matter in court as the groups argued it was their constitutional right to practice their religion in schools.

Sowetan reported earlier this year that two pupils from George Khoza High School in Soweto died in alleged satanic ritual-related deaths.

After holding a night vigil at the school with the hope of exorcising satanism, some pastors told Sowetan they had discovered satanic graffiti and symbols on some of the classroom walls and desks.

According to the Gauteng Schools Education Act, each school should have a religious policy made by the school governing body after consultation and approval by the department.

However, the act recommends that harmful religions be excluded from schools.

Lesufi said since taking office in May he had distributed religious documents at schools for the spiritual upliftment ofpupils.

He saidhe gave a mandate to his team to ensure that each and every classroom has a religious text.

He said 41000 Bibles have been distributed to schools across the province, as well as other religious books such as the Koran.

Lesufi said he did not understand why there was a Bible in [almost] each hotel room but there was no Bible in each classroom.macupeb@sowetan.co.za”

“20141005 – SAVA Statement Regarding Sowetan Article On “Vampire” Religion In Schools

The SAVA today made a statement in reaction to the Sowetan article published on Saturday October 4, “Satanists call for rights – Groups want to work in schools” in which the newspaper claimed “Sowetan understands that the groups who go by the names of Pagans and Vampires also approached the previous MEC for education Barbara Creecy with the same request”.

“At no time did the SA Vampyre Alliance (SAVA) contact the MEC for Eduction, Barbara Creecy, or the Sowetan with the intent of “working in schools”.

Vampyrism is not a religion, and as included in the working document (titled “the STAT Document“, which addresses Paganism and Satanism, discusses the topic of Satanic Panic Hysteria – and describes the Vampi(y)re Subculture very clearly as NOT being a religion) was submitted to the government commission investigating “satanism in schools” by representatives of the Alternative Religions Forum (ARF) in May 2013.

The same academic 468 page document which was compiled in a unique co-operative effort by participants of all three groups, was also forwarded to most media houses and newspapers in South Africa as well as to the SA Police Service and made publicly available on the ARF website as a download.

Absolutely no advocacy was made – either in this document, or in a separate submission, for the inclusion of Satanist or Pagan religion in South African schools, or of the Vampyre subculture – and neither did any dialogue of any kind take place between the ARF or the SAVA. The document and the activism of the ARF are geared towards awareness, fairness and tolerance of diversity.

This article by Sowetan is inaccurate and sensationalist. It represents yet another a low-point in South African journalism, by dabbling in conjecture and sensation-seeking behavior designed to inspire a negative public reaction towards a reasonable expectation for freedom of religion – and freedom FROM religion, in public schools.””

A massive over-simplification of the situation is being made in the article by Sowetan, as well as a wholesale distortion of the facts. Analysis below:

“Lesufi said the groups requested that they be allowed to practice and recruit pupils.” and “The department previously fought the matter in court as the groups argued it was their constitutional right to practice their religion in schools.” – Currently in MOST SA schools, Christian groups are allowed and encouraged to prey on children in schools, recruiting them and promoting their religion in the school ethos and activities. At the same time, virtually all other religious practices or beliefs or symbology are outlawed by schools where such an ethos prevails – despite the fact that these are not private religious schools, but PUBLIC schools run on public funds. That this practice is allowed to continue, despite being unconstitutional – while still not being highlighted as being unfair discrimination, not even in the press, is unforgivable. No attempt to provide these facts, was made in the article.

“Because of the risk and the danger involved, I declined. But I agreed to a one-on-one meeting with them and I’m going to meet them when the schools reopen,” – The “risk” and “danger” as used here is clear evidence to misinformation, as well as references to alleged “satanic” crimes which have nothing to do with actual religious Satanism at all, as discussed in other places on this website resource.

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