The school in the West Rand where a girl was murdered by fellow pupils who are alleged to be practicing satanism
Religious organisations and the Department of Education have joined forces to root out Satanism in Gauteng schools.
This follows the murder of a West Rand schoolgirl by fellow pupils who were allegedly involved in the practice.
The Education Department and religious leaders have co-signed a memorandum of understanding in which religious leaders pledged to offer spiritual support and liaise with police and other organisations to ensure safety at schools. Past incidents have revealed these gaps in the school system.
In 2008, Morne Harmse went on a rampage killing a fellow pupil and wounding three others with a samurai sword. He apparently practiced Satanism and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
And just two weeks ago 14-year-old Keamogetswe Sefuralo was allegedly stabbed by a friend in what is also believed to be a satanic incident.
Gauteng Education MEC Barbara Creecy said: “These issues are not confined to schools; they do not necessarily originate in schools but they impact deeply on the ability of schools to function and on the ability of our officials to carry out their duties.”
Religious leaders say parents need to look out for the signs.
Moulana Mohammad Seedat of Channel Islam International Youth Foundation said: “Firstly behavioural patterns: a child has a certain way of behaviour, but suddenly you see those behavioural patterns have changed.
"Secondly, you find there’s a change in the sleeping patterns. Probably a child would sleep at around ten or eleven o’clock, but now you find the child sleeping much later. The dress code: suddenly you find there’s association to dress in black; black cutex - everything related to the colour black. Then also the change of friends.”
Parents have also been advised to play a more active role in their children’s activities.
Pastor Meshack Tabudi of Shabach School Ministry said: “They start chatting until they open dangerous social networks. By that I mean things like Satanism and they get enticed into that, and before you know it they want to practice those things without even having information about the dangers and so on.”
The Gauteng Education Department hopes the signed agreement will help deal with the issues.
The department believes this issue of Satanism requires more diverse involvement and while the satanic incidents are worrying, the department says the situation is not yet at crisis levels.