South African Hindus were left aghast after a Northdale Hospital manager was accused of practicing witchcraft through her Hindu God pratimas (murtis) which she kept in her work locker.
It is not clear whether the woman in question is of African origin but some reports suggest that she is a citizen of the country.
The South African Hindu woman in question is a follower of Hare Krishna and she was forced last week to remove incense stick, pratima/murti of Hindu God Murugan and picture of Sai Baba from her locker at the Pietermaritzburg hospital and bring them to the hospital’s CEO Buhle Maphanga and seven other members of the hospital’s executive committee.
The female South African Hindu manager whose name has not yet come to light was mocked at, ridiculed for her beliefs leading to her getting so traumatized that she is now going for psychiatric treatment.
Hospital staffers also told The Witness that CEO Maphanga also “poked and prodded” at the statue with a pen and called it “voodoo.” Voodoo is considered black magic.
The Witness wrote that she [the South African Hindu woman] called a staffer in tears and said they (CEO and her people) destroyed her Muruga. They lifted and bagged the murtis as if it was going to hurt them.
The South African Hindu woman’s abuse has led to an international condemnation leading Rajan Zed, Hindu statesman based in the USA, to issue a strong statement. He said that he was shocked to know that a manager in Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg was forced to remove the statue of Hindu deity Muruga and other religious objects from her personal locker and was accused of witchcraft because of devotion to her faith.
He was also stunned at the deprecation of Hinduism and said that this has hurt the Hinduism followers across the world and demanded that KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health Dr. Sibongiseni Maxwell Dhlomo issue a formal apology and order revision of the hospital management manuals and retraining of management and employees of the hospitals of the province so that such incidents did not happen in the future.
Hinduism is growing in South Africa and a little over 550,000 (or 1.2 % of total population) South Africans practice Hinduism.
Christianity is practiced by 79.8% of the total population of South Africa.
Interesting, while the South African Hindus are fighting against this bigoted behavior, in July of 2016, African National Congress Youth League had also accused this hospital of ‘racism.’ They had claimed that this hospital was a nest of barbaric, dehumanized, and un-rehabilitated racist practitioners. They said that while the Black African patients were subjected to long lines at the hospital, people of other races were allowed to cut the queues and that even for giving medical attention the staff first demands to know their racial status.
Hindu women who practice Hinduism are on target of bigots:
Practicing of witchcraft is a widespread charge that is often levied against Hindu woman so as to harass them.
The South African incident is not alone either; a similar incident was reported from the USA in 2015 where a Hindu woman working in the US Air Force was fired for practicing witchcraft.
Hindu woman Air Force contractor Deborah Schoenfeld, who was working as a dental technician at Epes Dental Clinic in Fort Meade, was unceremoniously fired leading Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Founder and President of Military Religious Freedom Foundation, to take up her case. He brought to light many accusations made against the Hindu woman by her Christian co-workers, some of the charges are:
- In her time at Epes Dental Clinic she was actually and specifically accused of “witchcraft” and “bringing demons into the office.” She has been officially advised that she is not allowed to know who her accusers are.
- She has been openly disparaged for not having the same religious views as her superiors (evangelical Christian) and being “uninterested in taking part” in Christian rituals or the rampant and rapacious, workplace-based, evangelical Christian proselytizing which is outrageously and comprehensively supported by her former command.
- She has been admonished that practicing yoga is “satanic”, and will “cost (her) her soul”.
- She was advised by her chain of command to pray against the recent Supreme Court ruling against same-sex marriage, as it is “an abomination to their religion”. (an employee in the office wanted all the civilians to pray against the legalization of same-sex marriage at a clinic meeting)
- She was chastised for playing Indian music in the workplace as it was “not Christian”, while Christian music was commonly played throughout the entirety of this armed forces dental clinic.
South African Hindus battle Hinduphobia