Alleged Witchcraft Forces Closure of School

Namibia - ALLEGATIONS of witchcraft are doing the rounds at the Opuwo Primary School where the practice of the mysterious cult is so rife that 23 employees of the school's hostel have decided to down tools for fear of becoming victims.

The employees' strike follows the mysterious deaths of workers and learners at the primary school.

It is alleged that eleven people died while seven other employees became paralysed as a result of sorcery.

The accusing finger is being pointed in the direction of a female hostel employee. About 400 learners who were due to check into the hostel on Monday were shocked to find that there was no one to cook for them or even to clean for them.

The hostel at Opuwo Primary School also accommodates learners from Kameru Primary that is also in Opuwo.

The Hostel Inspector in Kunene Region, John Neumbo, has travelled to Opuwo to assess the situation. He was not keen to make any statements, except to say he would speak to the employees about Government's position with regard to the alleged practice of witchcraft.

Although witchcraft was a major concern for Neumbo, he was very worried that learners' studies would be negatively affected by the closure of the hostel.

He added that the matter was with the Permanent Secretary of Basic Education, Sport and Culture who was addressing the issue.

Meanwhile, the boycotting employees have demanded that the hostel premises and the suspected employee undergo a cleansing ritual involving a witchdoctor.

There are even suggestions that the suspect should be transferred to another school before the rest of the employees resume duties at Opuwo Primary. - Nampa