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Reflections on the Witchcraft Suppression Bill of 1957 in South Africa | Online Lecture by Vella Maseko and Nompumelelo Prudence Kubeka

August 17, 2021 @ 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

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This lecture 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.  This lecture is a prelude to a workshop offered on Saturday 21 August which will deepen the exploration of the impact this prejudice 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 Acts 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/

More 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.

CPD Accreditation Under Application



Live Streaming | Advanced Booking Essential

Bookings close at 12:00 on Tuesday, 17 August. The Zoom link will be distributed on the day of the event.

In the event of the tickets being sold out or sales closed, a recording of the lecture will be available for purchase. Please send enquiries in this regards to saaja@mweb.co.za

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


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