Learners at a school in Atteridgeville were captured running around and behaving strangely two weeks ago, much to the worry of their community, parents and teachers.
By: Betty Moleya
SOCIAL media and the news have been filled with videos and stories of learners in their school uniforms behaving strangely, running around and some fainting, hallucinating and saying unintelligible things.
Learners at a school in Atteridgeville were captured running around and behaving strangely two weeks ago, much to the worry of their community, parents and teachers. The learners disturbed schooling as they fainted after trying to dig unseen objects from the grounds.
And at Modilati Secondary school in Hammanskraal tensions ran high as parents and school management met to discuss similar incidents – on February 25 and 28 some learners exhibited similar behaviour, throwing the community and schooling into disarray.
An urgent meeting was called to establish the cause, after seven learners were on the first day said to have all been saying the same thing while not of conscious mind; and during the second incident on a Monday, parents then gathered outside the school trying to get inside to assist.
The affected learners told others that they saw something next to a water tap and on a ceiling, which they claimed came down to touch their feet, and they also said they saw similar strange objects in a ditch in the school yard.
Some parents said it was spiritually related and called a traditional healer to intervene and cleanse the school, while others believed it was drugs.
The community was up in arms, and sought to unite to find solutions, to bring back calm.
Throwing some light on the incidents, Dr Fanyane, who is chairperson of the Tshwane Ra Tshwana Dingaka and Baporofeta Association, said he was asked by the community to assist.
“They said the learners, especially the girl children, had fainted, saying things and seeing something from the ceilings. It then became a priority that whatever the kids see, needs to be removed.”
Fanyane said it was bad spirits attacking the learners. Some had behaved that way as their ancestors were protecting them from it, he said.
“If not taken seriously, the spirits will be with those children even at home. As it happened to girl children, that spirit will then become a man.”
The issue needed to be resolved urgently, and if not taken seriously, there would be serious consequences, he warned. “This can lead to these children losing their minds, while some might even take their own lives. This spirit is very bad.”
The cause of the incidents at various schools might be a result of individuals working within those schools building bad spirits to gain power, he said.
Fanyane advised parents and guardians to take the learners to traditional healers and churches for healing and assistance. Since they had different beliefs and religions, all religions and beliefs needed to be given a chance to help cleanse the schools, for the children to be free from the bad spirits, he said. “This is not to exclude any belief, so that no child is excluded.”
As more schools report such incidents, the call for religious education to be brought back in schools has been sounded, with the hope of raising awareness and avoiding such incidents.