Detectives in South Africa have decided to get with the plot of my first best seller The Magus and train-up specialists in “occult-related crimes.” According to a police memo there will be two such specialists per province (i.e. 18 in total, given that there are 9 provinces) who will be investigating, in particular
“… muti murders, curses intended to cause harm, vampirism, spiritual intimidation including “astral coercion”, rape by “tokoloshe spirits”, poltergeist phenomena, voodoo, black magic and traditional healers involved in criminal activities.”
Well! Who would have thought that vampirism is such a serious problem in South Africa! Seriously, though, Pagans in South Africa have been vocal in expressing scepticism of the police-initiative, pointing out the potential for abuse. Significantly, though, tasking police-officers to deal with occult is not actually a new phenomenon: apparently there was actually an Occult Crimes Unit in the country’s police force which attained some notoriety during the last days of Apartheid. Eventually it was disbanded for discriminating against certain beliefs. Presumably therefore South African Pagans are not just concerned about the new initiative out of political correctness, but because it resembles very much a return to the bad-old days of state repression.
Anyway: such concern for occult-related crime has not translated to the United Kingdom, which is not to say that it doesn’t occur. However, if there’s anyone from Scotland Yard reading this: if you need an independent expert or anything, my hourly rates are quite reasonable. ;-)