A student’s eerie discovery of burning candles, a jar of blood and a knife within a six- pointed star at the University of KwaZulu-Natal has alarmed occult experts, who warn there is an upsurge in witchcraft and Satanism in Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Richards Bay.
Of particular concern is that the symbol of the six-pointed star was also found last week at the scene of the suicide of a Reservoir Hills teenager, Kyle Mudaly, 16, with claims he had occult links. This is denied by his family.
Mudaly was found with a deep incision to his chest, with blood smears around it. A six-sided star was daubed in black ink on his bedroom wall.
The police and the university are aware of the latest discovery.
The UKZN student, who asked to remain anonymous, said he had stumbled on the witchcraft scene at Westville Campus L Block with a group of friends, when he noticed the light on in a store room in a corridor.
He said he had also noticed about 15 decapitated birds on campus this week.
“The door to the store room was open and as I was walking out I pushed the door closed with my hand and a friend said that the light was on. I put my hand inside to turn the light off and there was a line of rough salt by the door and my friend stood on the salt and heard it break. I looked back and saw the salt,” he said.
“Inside the room there was a circle and a six-sided star with symbols around it and three candles burning and there was a little container with blood in it and a knife. I got a kind of eerie feeling when I walked into the room,” he said.
“I took a picture because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I had nightmares about it but I’ve been trying not to let it affect me,” he said.
He said he believed a devotee had been disturbed and fled, because the candles were still burning.
UZKN spokeswoman Nomonde Mbadi said the university was aware of the incident. “This is a sensitive matter that is receiving attention,” Mbadi said.
The student said he had shown his mother the photograph and she had alerted a member of the local community police forum who had reported it to the Westville police station.
Westville police station spokesman Stephen Clarke said police were aware of the incident but nobody had opened a case. He said a member of the community policing forum believed there could be a link with Mudaly’s suicide.
“An inquest docket has been opened at Sydenham and possibly, if the family requests it, part of the investigation may look for a link to the rituals that took place and his death. The premise of the inquest is to see if there is any foul play in his death,” Clarke said.
“Officially no crime has taken place. Satanism is not a crime. You have the freedom to worship whatever you want to worship but there may be elements that may be a crime like the killing of animals,” Clarke said.
Occult expert and sociologist Dr Kobus Jonker said he was receiving calls for help every week from every province with hot spots including the three KZN cities, Cape Town, Fish Hoek and on the West Rand in Krugersdorp, Randfontein and Roodepoort. In some cases students were turning to witchcraft to pass exams.
Both Jonker and occult and Satanism expert Dr Herbie Staples warned parents to be vigilant to avoid a tragedy such as a suicide.
Jonker said the six-pointed star with a circle around it was a “witchgram” used to mock Jews and Christians.
“It’s a very powerful symbol used at witch festivals when they use white magic, and they use it to evoke the spirits. They make blood sacrifices and pacts with the demons and they drink the blood to get power,” Jonker said.
“Sometimes close to exams they believe they can evoke the spirit to help them and of course if they strike luck and do well they will do it more and it could end up in tragedy. It is all about choices in life. It’s a wrong choice and it can kill you,” Jonker said.
PARENTS URGED TO BE AWARE OF SATANISM
“Since last year the witchcraft aspect has picked up because it is all available on the internet. They can draw anything from the internet and there are books on how to become a witch. Sometimes they do it out of inquisitiveness and eventually it catches you in the end,” Jonker said.
“When you are deeply involved it is not easy to stop and when you are in a coven the fear factor comes in because they say they will send the demons and they will come and kill you,” Jonker said.
Jonker advised parents to approach their children lovingly and not with the intention to punish but to seek help by visiting a psychologist or a pastor experienced in the field.
Dr Staples said that whoever had set the scene belonged to an occult group.
“It is likely to be Satanism and likely to involve younger people. Satanism has a stronger attraction to people in the 15 to 40 bracket. The factors that play a role in Satanism are power and wealth and invariably Satanist covens are not run by 17 year olds but by 35 year olds and they make money off it because, like any powerful religious cult, devotees are required to give money.
“If you look at the Mooney and Davidian cults there are extremely charismatic leaders at the heart of it and they make themselves stinking rich,” Staples said.
A relative of the Mudaly family, Ashwin Singh, said he was concerned there may have been an occult link to the suicide.
“The family is traumatised and is in denial. I suspect there is something more because apparently six policemen were at the school interviewing students, including some of Kyle’s friends,” Singh said.
“Students at the school said there were pupils involved in this and other kids from a prominent school were communicating via BBM and Facebook and when this [the suicide] happened they deleted their pictures,” Singh said.
SPCA spokeswoman Caroline Smith said the organisation had not received any reports of occult deaths of animals recently. “It is the most inhumane way for an animal to die. It is a slow and very prolonged horrifying death,” Smith said.
However, she added that there had been an incident last year where foreigners had allegedly engaged in occult practices. “Evidence found on the scene included pots of blood, blood-splattered walls, body parts and skins of monkeys and goats.
“The case was handed to SAPS but the perpetrators disappeared,” Smith said.
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-Independent on Saturday