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Reflections on the Witchcraft Suppression Bill of 1957 in South Africa By Vella Maseko and Nompumelelo P. Kubeka

September 18, 2021 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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This workshop is an exploration of the historical roots of the still prevailing prejudice that exists towards Traditional Healing Practitioners in South Africa. The presenters, who are also dual therapy practitioners, will draw from their personal experiences and documented history to reflect on how indigenous healing practices and African spirituality have had to adapt. This will be done by looking into some of the rituals and practices that had to be altered in order to survive in the face of this onslaught.  In this workshop presenters will also explore the impact prejudice could have had on individual and collective psyche, as well as the identity of Traditional Health Practitioners.

The Witchcraft suppression act 3 of 1957 which was also based on the Cape Colony’s Witchcraft Suppression Act of 1895 is clear evidence of prejudice and attack on core beliefs, religion and a way of life of Indigenous Africans by criminalizing indigenous spiritual healing practices. Traditional health practitioners have continued to play a huge role as healers in communities despite the fact that Suppression of Witchcraft Act made it illegal for “anyone to engage in witchcraft or similar practices where one pretended or professed to use supernatural powers”. (1)

The term witchcraft originally meant the use of either magic, supernatural powers and medicinal plants to heal, diagnose or treat ailments, injuries etc. Over the centuries the term witchcraft became only associated with the use of dark magic to cause harm to others.


Samanga Rufaro, 2021, Millennial Traditional Healers Moving African Spirituality Forward, Okayafrica. https://www.okayafrica.com/millenial-traditional-healers-african-spirituality/ 

CPD Accreditation Under Application


R1200 for the day. See Programme below.

Live Streaming | Advanced Booking Essential

Bookings close at 12:00 on Friday, 17 September. The Zoom link will be distributed on the day before the event.

For more information contact SAAJA at (021) 689-6090 or Email saaja@mweb.co.za

About the Presenters

Vella Maseko is a Traditional Healer and Clinical Psychologist in private practice at Vista Psychiatric Clinic in Centurion and Meriting Therapy Centre in Midrand. (Meriting is a Setswana word meaning a place of reflections or shades. Traditionally, communities would gather under the shade of a tree to share stories and play.) She completed her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Witwatersrand in 2007.

Vella was trained and initiated in various traditions of Ubungoma (ancestral calling) between 2003 and completed her last training in 2010. (ancestral calling) and initiated as Isangoma (traditional healer). She has been practicing as a   Traditional health practitioner as well a psychologist for more than 10 years. Her work includes teaching in corporate, public and academic institutions on psychology and African spirituality. She is a partner in Bookela Botho Institute, a registered Non-Profit-Organisation under the guidance of Prof. Wally Serote, an African Philosopher, healer, poet and Poet laureate in Johannesburg. With her partners, she is currently working on opening a centre which integrates African and Western healing modalities.

Nompumelelo Prudence Kubeka is a Traditional Healer and Clinical Psychologist in private practice in Mondeor (Johannesburg). She incorporates her work of being a traditional healer and a psychologist in her practice and adheres to the scope of practice.

She completed her magister in 2016 at University of Pretoria. After her internship at Weskoppies Psychiatric hospital, she worked at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic hospital as clinical psychologist. While completing her magister and internship, she was trained in traditional healing and graduated in 2016 as a traditional healer.  Her thesis The Psychological Perspective on  Zulu Ancestral Calling: A Phenomenological Study  (2016, UP, Pretoria), written while she was undergoing her process, is based on her understanding of and submission to the ancestral calling.

Her work includes teaching the value of indigenous healing, African rituals and culture to professionals in universities and academic hospitals, to promote an understanding of patients especially those with ancestral calling.

Renee Ramsden is a clinical psychologist and a Jungian analyst working in private practice in Wynberg, Cape Town, for 29 years. She is a founder member of the Southern African Association for Jungian Analysts (SAAJA) and a training analyst. She specializes in dream-analysis and has been studying alchemy and psychology as presented by C.G. Jung for 25 years. She has a longstanding interest in ancient goddess cultures and their relevance for the feminine in our current world.

Date Saturday, 21 August 2021
09:00 – 10:30 History and purpose of the Witchcraft Suppression Bill of 1957
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 12:30 Consequences of this Bill for Traditional healers and Traditional belief systems:

Healers had to go into hiding

Rituals performed to suppress spirit

12:30 – 13:30 Lunch Break
13:30 – 15:00 Contribution of this Bill to prejudice against Traditional healing

How this filtered into other areas: race relations

How this prejudice still affects the legitimizing of traditional healing practitioners today

15:00 – 15:30 Break
15:30 – 17:00 Panel discussion: Vella Maseko, Nompumelelo Kubeka, Renee Ramsden

Discussion of above topics with opportunity of audience participation



September 18, 2021
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Event Category:


+27 (0)21 689 6090
View Organizer Website


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