Politicians, clerics criticise Ditshwanelo’s defence of Satanism
by Keitumetse Letlhogela
Human rights watchdog Ditshwanelo’s call for Satanism to be tolerated as a religion in Botswana has drawn a sharp reaction from politicians and church leaders.
Ditshwanelo’s Public Relations Officer, Thuto Gaseleitsiwe, told a local newspaper that as long as it operates within Botswana’s moral values, Satanism should be allowed. Botswana’s constitution allows for freedom of religion, while Ditshwanelo says it defends the rights of those who believe in their chosen religion.
Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Secretary General, Wynter Mmolotsi, however, told Sunday Standard that his party does support tolerance for satanic sects.
“Satanism is more like witchcraft. We as Batswana are brought up as Christians. If the constitution does not recognise witchcraft then I don’t see why it will recognise something similar to it,” Mmolotsi said.
While Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Executive Secretary, Thabo Masalila, said his party could not comment on the controversial issue, several church leaders came out clearly against Satanism.
A retired Pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Adrian Mpofu, said it would be wrong to allow Satanism, a practice which an internet web site defines as extremely evil or cruel, befitting hell, demonic or hellish.
“To allow that kind of philosophy is equivalent to accepting misconduct, disorderliness and lawlessness in the justice of human rights,” Mpofu said. “Darkness and light cannot co-exist. We cannot serve two masters at the same time. God and Satan are two diverse forces. If we have chosen to be a godly human race we cannot at the same time serve the devil.”
Mpofu said allowing Satanism, which he equates with terrorism, would open the door for the tolerance of witchcraft.
“Somewhere along the line, we will be saying even wizards have the right to operate,” Mpofu warned. “This is the beginning of the downfall of ethics of the country. It started with homosexuals and now we are talking about Satanism.”
Kitso N Mauchaza, a pastor at Mountain of Faith church in Gaborone, said Botswana is still developing for people to start allowing divisive practices like Satanism. There is no practice that pulls people from their religions like Satanism, he said, adding that regulators should first check what harm a religion can bring to society before deciding that it should operate.
“Satanism deals with human sacrifices and I don’t think anyone will be interested in what it involves,” Mauchaza said. “Satanism initiates people without them knowing they are being initiated.”
The ongoing debate on Satanism has increased following revelations that the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) is investigating some underground satanic sects that are now operating in Botswana.
DIS director, Isaac Kgosi, recently told the Parliamentary Accounts Committee that some prominent personalities in Botswana were involved in Satanism.