A wizarding competition to be held this weekend was banned, according to a government statement. The organizers planned to hold the competition in Manzini, the second largest city in Eswatini, a landlocked country in southern Africa led by King Mswati III, one of the last absolute monarchs in the world.
True spells, incantations, and other voodoo practices, to show which of the wizards is the most powerful, it was such a ceremony that “Africa Gama” wanted to organize.
“The proposed competition of witchcraft and magic spells was unknown in the country and was considered an anomaly in the lives of the people of Eswatini,” said government spokesman Percy Simelane in a statement.
“The government will not approve any competition of this nature. Anyone who persists in an activity related to witchcraft will face the full force of the law.”
The statement, released Tuesday, says the 1889 Witchcraft Act defines witchcraft or the practice of voodoo as a punishable offense. “The government can not stand idly by while the lives of the citizens of this country are exposed to illegal and bizarre practices that could poison the spirit (Swazis), especially of children. The government will not allow voodoo competition, period,” said Percy Simelane.
The Times of Swaziland on Wednesday quoted “Africa Gama,” the organizer of the event, who said the competition would pit wizards against traditional healers, as was done during the reign of King Sobhuza II, who died in 1982.