Witchdoctors in Swaziland have accused members of parliament of double standards by passing a law restricting their activities while at the same time using their services.
The witchdoctors ‘trade union’ the Tinyanga Association petitioned the Ministry of Health and the Public Prosecutions Office to have the Witchcraft Act amended.
The witchdoctors, who also like to call themselves ‘tinyanga’ or ‘traditional healers’, object to Section 2 of the Act that states, ‘Any person who is found wearing any charm, dress, ornament, emblem or insigne, which according to Swazi custom, indicates the wearer as a diviner, witchdoctor or witch finder shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction of a fine of two hundred emalangeni [about US$14] or an imprisonment not exceeding five months.’
The Swazi Observer newspaper reported the witchdoctors said they had to wear such things, ‘because they get order from the ancestors and if they disobey those orders they are just putting their lives in danger’.
In a petition and letter delivered to Parliament on Thursday (26 January 2017), the witchdoctors wrote, ‘You use us at night but after you then pass laws that infringe on our rights.’
The Observer reported, ‘The witchdoctors made it clear that the same parliamentarians who are involved when passing laws that infringe on witchdoctors’ rights were the same people who at night, sneaked to their consultation rooms to seek for help.’
The letter also stated that the witchdoctors felt they had to hide away from society because they feared arrest.
On Thursday (26 January 2017), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution told a meeting of witchdoctors they must stop murdering people to obtain body parts for their spells.
WITCHDOCTORS TOLD ‘STOP MURDERING’