At least two families involved in the satanism debacle that occured at Ramokgonami Junior Secondary School say they were unjustly detained by police.
The mother of the young girl who is accused of being the ringleader of satanic children at the same school spent a night in a police cell with her daughter. The child claims to have been initiated into satanism by the school’s deputy headmaster. Another parent alleges she and her two toddler granddaughters were locked up by the Palapye Police for one night last week, as the police put pressure on the students to confess that they lied about Satanism in the school.
The parents of the accused children said to be involved in satanism at their school are claiming to be harassed by the police instead of receiving feedback or answers to from the Ministry of Education as they were promised recently.
Speaking with Monitor, one of the parent’s of the accused children said she has been visited three times by the police since the satanism scandal broke out at the school and the last time they came, they threw her into a cell at the Palapye police station for a night.
“We have been visited by the police on three occasions. Last week Thursday I received a call from a certain police officer asking me to make my daughter skip school on Friday because they wanted to meet us for questioning.
On Friday, they came to my house at Khurumela in Palapye and took me, together with my child, to the police station.
“When we got there, I was told to remain outside while more than 10 police officers and my child went into the office. The police took more than an hour questioning and threatening my daughter, whom I regard as an underage child to be questioned in this manner by the police without a parent,” said Mmapula David.
She further said that on their way back home with her daughter, the girl told her that the police threatened her with violence if she did not put a spin on what she had previously said about satanism at her school last week, that the deputy school head had allegedly initiated her into satanism.
“My daughter told me that the police forced her to twist her words. They told her that they had met the other parents of the victims and they told them that the deputy school head was not a satanist, but rather they (students) had ganged up against her.
“She even told me that the police told her she was the main reason behind last week’s unrest at the school because she was the leader of all satanist students. She said one of the police officers accused her and our family of being witches,” the parent alleged. She further said that they were given some statement forms to fill them at home, which they did but the police never took them. The parent stated that the previous Sunday afternoon, the police came again demanding to go with the child.
She said she refused telling them that she did not know how the police were engaged in this issue since it was being investigated by the regional education office.
“The police came again on Monday and they took me together with my daughter. My daughter was put into police cells while I was told to sleep in the police offices with my two grandchildren, aged three months and one-year-old.
“This issue pains
“She said I am the main cause of the instability because my child was said to be the leader of the Satanism team. Now the CID’s are all over me and my family,” said David.
She added that her daughter is living with the fear that the police will come after her again. According to David, the satanism fiasco has inconvenienced her daughter so much that she has even quit school. She is expected to repeat her Form 2 again next year.
Another parent at Ramokgonami, Letty Ntumelang also claimed police harassment. She informed the Monitor that the previous Saturday morning she was visited by ununiformed police officers who demanded to go with her son for questioning.
She said that they (her and her husband) refused, telling the police that they (parents) know that the Ministry of Education is handling the matter. She said the police returned later, this time threatening to bring more law enforcers and a warrant of arrest.
Ntumelang said indeed, the police returned and presented them with warrants of arrest. She said they, together with her son, spent a night in a cell at Palapye police station. Parents are now considering approaching the human rights advocates to source help in this matter.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer (North Central Division) Senior Superintendent, Phenyoetsile Nnanaakoko confirmed that they are investigating the matter.
He said as the law enforcers, they were involved in the matter because threats were rendered and unrest was caused at the school and village in general. He further said that they had met with some of the children.
“It is true that we are investigating the matter, I can confirm that we have met with the children but not all of them due to various reasons. We do our investigations in line with the law. So because we are dealing with juveniles, we are mindful of the law in terms of treatment of juveniles,” confirmed Nnanaakoko.
Nnanaakoko further said that in their investigations, they have involved the assistance of the village Kgosi, the councillors, the education officers and the school employees. He said they hoped to conclude their investigations soon.
The police chief further confirmed the evacuation of the deputy school head from the school and the village for safety reasons. Recently there was unrest at Ramokgonami CJSS as the students, parents and the villagers accused the deputy school head of initiating students into Satanism.
The community who converged at the Village main Kgotla in a heated and chaotic meeting demanded that the deputy school head be evicted from school with immediate effect.
They (villagers) threatened to burn the school if their demands were not met. The emergency meeting attracted the village Kgosi, the councillors, school headmaster and the Regional Education officers (Central) both from Mahalapye and Serowe.
The students claimed to use necklaces and maps for supernatural powers to initiate fellow students into the dark occult. They also claimed to suck people’s blood, cause road accidents, cause misunderstanding among teachers, sleep with other students and kill opponents.