The South African Satanic Church has slammed murder accused Daniel Smit from Klawer, Western Cape, for claiming to have committed murder as a Satanic practise. The church says killing is not in alignment with Satanism.
Leaders of the church quoted page 89 of the banned satanic bible written by Anton LaVey which states that “no Satanist shall kill an animal or child.” It also declared that there were no cults in Satanism.
The church was responding to the apparent confession by Smit who was arrested last week Friday after the human remains, suspected to be those of 13-year-old Jerobejin van Wyk, were discovered in his sewerage pipes.
Western Cape police said the boy was accused of stealing mangoes from Smit’s house and went missing on February 2.
Adri Norton, co-founder and spokesperson for the church, said the suspect’s attorney, Santie Human, had said that Smit had allegedly committed the crime as a Satanic practice. Human alleged that the boy’s appearance on the property coincided with a religious day for occult practitioners and that her client could no longer control.
She said Smit had also claimed he needed to kill in order to be freed of “evil spirits.”
But Norton said: “There is no Satanic religious day, high day or celebration that takes place on February 2. The only significant day in Satanism is your own birthday. As Satanists we also do not believe in the existence of evil spirits or ’the devil.’ Often ’the devil’ in these claims is a reference to the Christian devil which Satanists do not believe exists.“
“In Satanism we believe that everyone is responsible for their own actions and should suffer the consequences of their actions. The South African Satanic Church hopes that justice prevails and that the (alleged) murderer Daniel Smit suffers the full extent of the law.”
Norton also raised concerns about criminals using Satanism as an excuse for their crimes. She said this further spreads existing misconceptions which began in the 80’s during a period of satanic panic.
“Due to the hysteria, people have become accustomed to associate Satanism with crime which is simply not in the nature of Satanism. South Africa also banned the satanic bible so people were completely unable to attain the correct information regarding Satanism,” she said.
“This was all part of the apartheid government to push their Christian agenda with an attempt to further oppress and control the nation. Satanism is a religion that focuses on the improvement of the self and life.”
In 2020 when the church was founded, there were plans to start a chapter in Ballito, on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. However, Norton says the church had since opted to dissolve individual chapters and create one body of membership within the organisation which is known as the National Chapter.
“This decision was made due to gatherings not being able to be conducted in person but rather online due to the pandemic, and it made sense to rather conglomerate the chapters to streamline the logistics of the organisation,” she said.
“We didn’t really feel the effect of the pandemic in a sense that we lost members or couldn’t continue our operations. Our gatherings continued online and we have found it to be more effective and convenient this way actually.”
Norton emphasised that their main mission was to be the voice for Satanism when false accusations and misinformation is spread.
“We are not interested in gaining members and having a following, we have enough Satanists in South Africa already, our aim is to simply speak up for the religion to stop people from blaming Satanism for crime and in turn hoping people will learn to take responsibility for their actions.”
Smit, who is in custody, will reappear in court in April.