It is time to acquire a new dictionary. My seventh edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary (1984) says that a witch doctor is a ‘tribal magician of primitive people’. ‘Witchcraft’, it says, perhaps more accurately, is sorcery, or the use of magic.

In any event, the Witchcraft Suppression Act 19571 aims at exactly that, and it has some rather interesting provisions. It seems that being called a wizard, for example, was a pretty serious thing in 1957.

It is a criminal offence2 to do any of the following:

  1. As amended; the latest amendment was effected by Act 33 of 1997. 

  2. With serious penalties, by the way. For example; imprisonment of up to 20 years if the accused is proved to be, by repute, a witchdoctor. 

  3. Section 1(a). 

  4. Section 1(a). 

  5. Section 1(b). 

  6. Section 1(c). 

  7. Section 1(d). 

  8. Section 1(d). 

  9. Section 1(d). 

  10. Section 1(e). 

  11. Section 1(f). 

  12. Section 1(f). 

  13. Section 1(f).