Ministry dismisses satanism claims

*Police pursue suspects behind student rebellion

Police in Selebi-Phikwe are sniffing around in pursuit of an individual they suspect spread false satanism allegations about a Makhubu Junior School Headmaster and in the process inciting rebellion by students.

The school was temporarily closed on Tuesday afternoon after students boycotted lessons accusing the school head of satanism.

According to unconfirmed reports a security guard told one of the students that the headmaster was capable of transforming into a snake.

The allegations came in the wake of a fatal snake bite that sent tongues wagging and accusing fingers pointed to the school head accused of practicing satanism.

Parents then descended on the school to pick their kids and demanded that the matter be dealt with first or else their kids would never set foot at the school of satanism.

Selebi-Phikwe police Station Commander, Superintendent Victor Nlebesi, told The Voice in an interview that they responded to reports of unrest at the school on Tuesday.

“We were informed that whatever caused the unrest was a made up story and we are in the process of connecting the dots to find out who spread such untruths,” he said.

Nlebesi said they are taking this issue with the seriousness it deserves and that once the culprits are arrested, they will look for appropriate charges.

“They can be charged with incitement, and I’m positive we’ll get to the bottom of this,” said Nlebesi.

The Ministry of Education also dismissed the allegations peddled by parents and students and have thrown their weight behind the accused school head.

In an interview with The Voice, Central Regional Director-Operations Sonny Mooketsi, said they met with the town leadership, including police and the embattled headmaster to establish what could have caused the unrest.

“We found out that there was no truth in the claims. The headmaster joined the school this year, why would she kill students she doesn’t even know,” asked Mooketsi.
The Director said parents are being unfair by accusing the new headmaster of killing a student who died last week from a snake bite.

“The student was bitten at her home and I don’t know why the headmaster is being blamed for that. Whoever spread the allegations should be found and dealt with appropriately,” he said.

He further said security officers who allegedly started the rumour about the headmaster transforming in to a snake denied the charge.

“The police will get to the bottom of it and severe punishment will be meted out which will act as a deterrent,” he said.

Mooketsi said they reached a consensus and will be meeting with parents, students and teachers on Thursday morning.

“This will be a meeting between student, guardian and teachers only. It is not open to everyone,” he said.

He further said parents’ demand to hold prayers at the school will be granted.

“We however won’t allow exorcisms, where people will claim to remove snakes or whatever form of evil,” Mooketsi told The Voice.

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