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© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

Prophecies at Ditlhabelo (Sacrifice) Services

This is divided into three sections. “Prophecies 1” gives details of the Sacrifice of Unleavened Bread Service. “Prophecies 2” details the largest sacrifice service observed of a cow and several other items. “Prophecies 3” details the cow sacrifice. All these services followed the “instructions” as laid out in the Old Testament book of Leviticus. The Section “Sacrifices” contains many photographs illustrating these services.

He instructed the owners of the home that they should say "Yes" if it was true and "No”  if not. (This compares with traditional doctors when divining with their bones - the client has to agree or disagree with each part of the divination.)

He continued   that on the wife's   side he could follow a road that passes at the back of her kraal. There was a girl who was not married who lived with an old woman. He could  “see” a square house at the home where this girl lived. The owners of the home knew her and whenever they met they would nearly quarrel. There had even been a trial in the past with them and this was the cause of the sorcery  hidden in their home so that they could be killed. He could also “see” a girl who had been sent to spy at the church for that family. Next he asked the other prophets to reveal what they had  “seen”.

The Evangelist said they should all pray for the owner of the home because he was having trouble with his oesophagus drying up at night so that he could not breathe properly. He also had a sore in his chest, and when he tried to breathe he always felt out of breath. He could even "see" that once when at his Lands, he had been given poison. The poisoner came from the Lands in front of his Lands - from the West.

He could “see" a thatched house near their Lands. The wife of the owner  of the home agreed  to this.    The  prophet continued   that whenever they  woke  up  in the  morning,  all  the family  would have  painful  legs and their children    would refuse to be  sent  on errands by their  parents. The children  even  thought of leaving their home. He said  if he  went further - to their Lands - he could show them their enemies. As he had never been there all he could tell them was that those enemies came from Uphill. (This family originally lived Uphill in Kanye but had moved to this new location probably due to sorcery at their former home. However they still ploughed their original Lands with other former Uphill neighbours). He continued that he could "see" a cow that had been inherited. The owner's wife said that they had not  yet been given it, they were still having a trial over those cattle.  She was then reminded that she should not tell the Prophets anything, they would tell her, she should just agree or disagree. He continued that he could  "see" this cow being given as Boswaa (inheritance) . He could  "see" someone having a pain and later  dying of that terrible pain. He said  the Spirit showed him that when he prophesied  those cattle, the children whose parents were dead were having trials about the ownership of those cattle.

Next  the B.U.C,Z Moruti asked  if anyone else had  received prophecy. Another prophet revealed that  in his  Spirit  he could "see" the owner of the home's heart beating very fast and that he felt very frightened because  of the fear caused by his children's  behaviour. He could also  "see" that  the owner often wondered  whether to call Zionists or traditional doctors to help him. The owner agreed that this was the case. The prophet continued that he could "see" the owner's cattle had
been bewitched and he would even have an accident because of those bewitched cattle. The people who had bewitched him wanted to kill him so that they could get those cattle. He did not want to go into a lot of detail about this because he did not want to be called to the kgotla. The owner might complain he had been prophesied by a prophet who had not yet been registered. ( A well-known Prophet from Episcopal had recently been summoned to the kgotla  after he had prophesied a man whose cattle had been stolen.This Prophet did not want to face a Kgotla court.)

Another  male  prophet then revealed  that  he had "seen" that  the owner's house  was  "held  by problems".  There  was no agreement  and  the children  did not obey their  parents. They feared that  perhaps  they should not be members of the church because of the bad behaviour of their children. He could also "see" that their cattle were bewitched and one member of the family would die because of this.

A young female prophet continued that she could "see" that the woman of that family was having heart trouble - her heart beat quickly. Her children often insulted her, and she had problems with a swelling stomach.

Next the B.U.C.Z. Moruti took over. He said he could also "see" that the wife was having problems with pains in her sides caused by sorcery. He could also "see" that the husband had problems with pains and even wondered if his life would improve if he deserted his home. This had all been caused by a new poison he had been given by someone who had mixed it with dikobi (beans). This made him feel tired and he would quarrel with his wife and not discuss this problem with her. He could "see" in his Spirit that this poison had been given to him when he had eaten those beans away from his home. His Spirit showed him an old-fashioned four-wheeled lorry that for a long time had been supported by logs at the back. He advised them never to visit that home with such an old lorry, as this was the place from where they were being bewitched. The owner agreed to this.

The Moruti continued that in his prophecy he could "see" that the owner's footprint had been stolen at that home. It had been bewitched so that he would be hit by something and die immediately. He had been bewitched some time ago and when he had come from that home he had been in a very bad state and unable to walk properly. He could also "see" that they had a dehorned red cow that the family had had quarrels over. This was one of the many cattle that they had had trouble over. The cattle had been doctorised by a traditional doctor in the absence of the owner of the family, and this bewitchment was directed particularly at the sons of the family. The person who had done this complained he had not been given a share of those cattle as payment. As a result, whenever the owner and his family went to their Cattle-post they felt afraid of their cattle. The wife agreed to all this.

The prophet continued that there was no agreement between the families of the husband and wife. He again' mentioned the chicken he had "seen" at first in his prophecy, he could smell some broken eggs and some sorcery which was hidden in the thatch to which he pointed again using his prophecy pole. This sorcery had the effect of making the family feel frightened whenever they were inside their houses, to try and make them desert their home in fear. The sorcery had been put there when the house was built and had contributed to the dispersal of the family. He could "see" that at the home where there was the broken lorry the people had wanted their daughter to marry the owner's son and. When this had not happened. they had decided to bewitch the family. The owner of the service replied that he did not know of that particular plan. The prophet continued that he could "see" that one of their sons used to visit that home but did not now. One of the daughters of the owner then agreed that this was indeed true but the parents still said that they had not known about this.

The prophet continued that the family at this home were trying to kill the parents because if they were dead it would be easy for their daughter to be married to the owner's son. They were not able to recognise the evil intention of these sorcerers because they were always welcomed at their home (N.B. they are different people from the ones bewitching them for their cattle). If the owner's son did not marry into that family then the family would be badly bewitched and even struck by lightning.

Another prophet took over. He said he could "see" that the owner had problems with itching ears and soles of his feet. His legs, particularly the knees. were always tired. He could also hear a baby crying - a baby that had died in that home some time ago. The owner of the home could not understand this last part of the prophecy about the baby, so the prophet continued that when he danced he could "see" this baby crying and trying to "wrap up their feet" when they danced. It was crying in agony. When that child had been ill there had been an argument. Then it had died and had been stolen from its grave. and used by sorcerers to bewitch the family and that was why, when they danced, it "wrapped and tied their legs" - the child's spirit did not rest in peace. When he asked his spirit more about this child. he could "see" a woman who always came to ask for tea at their home. This woman was an enemy. He could "see" that the owner of the home was worried, and when returning to his home he often felt like deserting it instead. The rest of the family also feared their home. They often heard strange sounds outside at night and often found their door open if they awoke at night. He could "see" a big trial over cattle which would result in their house being damaged by the wind. He could "see" a traditional doctor who they had once called to help them and who had been dissatisfied by his fee. He could "see" a woman who had a "wall eye" who often came to their home behaving as a cousin, but she was one of those who was causing their problems. At this the owner asked him to repeat as he could not hear well.The B.U.C.Z. Moruti then repeated many of the above-mentioned problems, especially about the owner's physical condition. The owner agreed that the prophets were correct.

Next other prophecies followed, repeating that the prophets had seen the same things, especially about the dead child whose body had been stolen and mutilated and used to bewitch the family. Money was referred to that had been stolen and bewitched. Another prophet referred to the fact that the family of the owner's wife were in disagreement with them because they had always promised to give them a child to help them (this is a common custom) but when the child grew up and started to be useful they would take it away, so that when it was earning money it would give the money to its parents not to its maternal family. Once they had even given that family a child who had then returned after 3 days. The owner agreed to all this but said it had all happened a long time ago. The B.U.C.Z. Moruti said that in his Spirit he could "see" that, as soon as this child had returned to them, its maternal family had started bewitching them as they were determined that if they were not to be helped by their daughter's children nor should her family benefit either. The Moruti asked the owner to confirm about the money, but he said that he could not understand about this.

The Moruti told him that he knew about it but he was hiding it. He enlarged on it by saying one of their sons had once sent money to his parents from the South African mines, by a friend. The friend had  then stolen the money and used it to buy sorcery to bewitch the family. He could also "see" a traditional doctor would be called to throw his bones for one of the daughters (maybe she would be ill and he would be called in to cure her). He could even "see" those bones in his prophecy and he started using the “secret” words of a traditional doctor to demonstrate what he could "see". He next said that he could also "see" that their enemies had bewitched the house immediately they had heard that the owner was to hold this service, so as to try to make the Sacrifices unsuccessful so that the prophets would not be able to "see" anything. Therefore they would have to dance to try and make themselves more powerful. Next followed about seven hymns, with drumming and dancing.

The B.U.C.Z. Moruti continued that he could "see" that, before the owner had joined his present church, he had belonged to another church where he had been bewitched by the members, who were jealous when he bad been promoted. The owner had even felt like leaving the church. The owner agreed to this.

Some more hymns followed before the B.U.C.Z. Moruti prophesied another girl who he kept “catching” in his Spirit. He said her problems would disturb them if they kept quiet about her prophecy.

There was then another hymn and the Evangelist in charge of the service announced that the sacrificial items were prepared. At this point they were on the "altar". They consisted of a bottle of cooking oil, tea, coffee, sugar, bread (cooked without baking powder) and packets of candles. Although they did not want to stop the prophecies they were now ready to make the sacrifice; the time was now 1.00 a.m. They did not know where the Spirit came from but, even when they moved outside, it would continue to come to them. They could not control it to "stay on" just one person. He said that at the owner's Lands there was a hole dug by a wild animal, and there was an ant hill beside this hole. If they dug by this hole they would find human hairs and bones there (i.e. sorcery) The hole was close to some trees of various types.

The daughter of the home agreed that there was such a place as this at their Lands. The prophet continued that whenever he danced. he was disturbed by the bones and hairs in that hole. Another hymn was sung. Next the owners of the home were all called to sit in the centre near the fire and all the Baruti were called to collect in one place. He asked for the sons of the home but was told they were not there. He announced that this was to be a sacrifice without baking powder and then went on to criticize those people who no longer followed the Old Testament but only the New Testament. Hebrews 10, v. 28-9 supported him in this as it says that anyone despising the law of Moses will die and never be forgiven. The type of sacrifice they were going to do was the type described in Leviticus 8 and Leviticus 24, v. 1-8. The Secretary should read clearly so that everyone should clearly understand what was to be done. By sunrise the sacrifice would have been made and the remainder would be for "Aaron and his sons". Le. the Moruti and his congregation. (Here again it can be seen that in these services they portray different people and occasions from the Bible.)  If a sheep was to be sacrificed the Moruti would receive the chest "as the gift of Aaron", and the left thigh. He would also be allowed to take the intestines and the fat of the sheep and the liver or even a tail, but it would be severed where it joins the vertebral column.

Sacrificial items should be shown to the people and not hidden because Zionists were not like the prophets    of Baal who had danced around the sacrificial fire until sunrise and then had realised Baal had not heard. Then he announced it was time to read the Bible and the Secretary  was  called  to  read Leviticus 24, v. 1-8. As the Bible was read, the Moruti followed the instructions by holding  up  the  different sacrificial  items on the "altar", as they were referred  to in  the reading, one by one. Where Leviticus  mentioned  thou shalt set them  in  2 rows, 6 in each row the cakes of bread were actually put like this. Next the Moruti said that all the Baruti knew a lot about the Bible but the idea of reading it was to demonstrate to the congregation that they had not invented these things, they were actually written in the Bible, for example, if they wanted to hear the law against beer, this could be read in Numbers, that beer should be thrown on the ground. A Khosa then reported that the Dikhosa had prepared the sacrificial fire.

The Moruti called the Secretary to read Acts 20, v. 8 about the candles. The packets of candles were opened and the candles were lit and handed out to the church choir, who were warned that if they allowed their candles to blowout it would show they were the children of sorcerers (they would be put in the centre and be prophesied). During the two hymns "Christ come closer to us" and "Amen, Messiah it's my sacrifice, Jesus by himself, Jesus my Lord you should appreciate it", the church choir holding the lighted candles led us outside to stand around the sacrificial fire. The family followed and sat in an inner circle, the rest of us were standing in an outer circle.

While more hymns were sung the prophets started to dance around the fire and the family, clutching their prophecy poles, whilst the rest of us clapped and sang (the drums had also been brought out). The dancing became faster and faster. Then the two main Baruti started to make the sacrifice. One other was sitting with the sacrificial items and with water in a bucket. They took the items in turn, blessed them, sprinkled them with water and also sprinkled water on the family, and then together they raised each item three times before they threw it into the fire. The bottles of oil and methylated spirits flared up high into the air. When all the items had been sacrificed the sacrificers collected the candles from the church choir and threw them in bundles onto the fire and then sprinkled the fire, the family and circle with the rest of the Holy Water. After more hymns, we all knelt down and we prayed together. The Moruti in charge announced that women should re-enter the house first before the men.

Inside the house hymns were continued.Then the B.U.C.Z. Moruti complained that there was something that was hindering their spirits and preventing them from prophesying, but the prophets should not fear to reveal everything they saw about the behaviour of the sons of that home because they would not dare to sue them in court as the owner of the home had called the church there. He himself could "see” that the family was still going to have problems with their children and there would even be a kgotla trial when the maternal family and other relatives would have to be called. He said that in Acts it clearly states that if a person cannot see his problems for himself then people must correct him.

Then the owner of the home was invited to speak. He first started a hymn "It's only the Cross where we will meet You, my Lord." After the hymn , he thanked everyone for their help. He felt much happier now and no longer feared death. That was why he was able to start the hymn. He explained that first of all he had been a Pentecostalist, where he had even been a Moruti. Later he had joined the “Church of God in Christ" where he has also been a Moruti. This present illness had started in 1974 and he had had to stop being a Moruti.and had just been going around searching for a healer until the present. Only God knew whether he would survive. He thanked everyone for their prophecies. In Paul it says a child that is not punished is the illegitimate one of God, and God punishes all for anything he is not happy about. So if a person is punished he is not supposed to be surprised. Punishment is what leads a person to God. God is like a father to us and he notices our wrongs and punishes us accordingly. The child that is never punished is the one with no parents or father because there is no one who can give that child the law. He then went on to use the story of Job's problems to illustrate how, despite all his problems, he had maintained his belief in God and resisted the Devil. He again thanked everyone and asked them to pray for him. The prayers of a Christian always save those in troubles even if they are sinners; because of the prayers of the people that night he believed he and his family would now be delivered. Then followed a hymn and, as the service was to continue as an ordinary church service until sunrise, we left.

Setlhabelo (sacrifice) of unleavened bread

This service was held by B.U.C.Z. church on a Saturday night. The B.U.C.Z. congregation gathered first at the Moruti's home (this was before they had built their church there). We gathered inside the Moruti's house and after a few prayers and hymns the Moruti explained that at the house we were going to for Setlhabelo people were to behave politely. He had a stick outside that he would use to beat people whose Spirits were fighting against his,(i.e. sorcerers) and anyone whose Spirit disturbed the prophets' Spirits would be thrown outside the church as such Spirits would be fighting for the Devil and upset the prophesying. No one should sleep but they should all work hard singing, clapping and dancing properly. They should walk in a line singing hymns on the way there, and he himself would walk at the back sprinkling Holy Water on our footsteps (this was to protect us from sorcerers bewitching us via our footprints)

Then we left for the Setlhabelo house. An Evangelist and the other men led, then the women and children, and lastly the Moruti who was sprinkling the protective Holy Water. We sang hymns on the way and a drum carried on the back of a bicycle was beaten. On arrival at the home (about half an hour's walk through the village) we entered a rondavel in which was a table with 7 candles on it. The Moruti formally introduced himself and the congregation to the owner of the home, telling him we had arrived there by God's help and said that the Evangelist and Morapedi (Prayer) would be in charge of the service. He asked if the owner of the home and the head of the kgotla were present to give their formal permission for the service to take place.

He continued that in the Bible it says that "When I was called I came immediately but before I did anything I asked what I was called for." The owner of the home replied that he himself was very ill and could not speak loudly. He thanked God who had allowed them to meet together. He thought everyone would remember that they had been together in March for Ditapelo but he still had the same problems. He had a problem at  his home and he was asking  for help.  His  children just stayed at the mines  without helping  their parents. They had so many problems and that was why they had decided to ask for help from the Zionists;as Paul had said in Ephesians5, "Walk in  the  way you have been told,  you should take a journey to the place where you  have been called." God has given us Christianity.  He gave Christians the Holy Spirit, his own Son, and Himself”. That is why he had asked the Zionists for help. When they had seen him at the Ditapelo he had been almost dumb and that service had helped a little.  Before Ditapelo  he had been having such terrible pains that he had even asked God for  Death as he could not  bear  those pains.   He prayed  that  God should   save the congregation as their prayers that  time had been answered and  he  was feeling much better. They (the congregation)   were  soldiers  of God and  they had returned that day to fight the Devil.

Then the B.U.C.Z. Moruti replied that according to their rules they were supposed to dance around and see if their Spirits were welcomed to that home and if there was anything there that could challenge the prophets. (This compares with traditional doctors who always throw their bones once before starting a divination, to see if it is alright to continue divination that day), He said that many Zionists had previously fallen into danger because they had not done this. He referred to the Book of Ecclesiastes where it says that when you enter a house you should do this.

Two hymns were sung, during which Kanana Church arrived. After these hymns, the Moruti formally handed over the service to the Evangelist and Barapedi,and introduced the service to the Kanana Baruti as a Sacrifice of unleavened bread.

Then he said they should now dance with those Kanana Baruti to see if it was possible to hold the service there.and make the sacrifice, and if they found the home was bewitched, they would be able to "see" if they had sufficient  power to overcome that evil influence. The Kanana leader introduced his church, explaining that their main Baruti were not present that day but were at the mines, Cattle- posts etc.

The B.U.C.Z. Khosa then arranged everyone according to their correct positions - Secretaries with Secretaries, Evangelists with Evangelists, church choirs together etc.-

Next the  B.U.C.Z.   Evangelist  took over the service and repeated the welcome.   He called for the Secretary to be ready so that the candles could  be  lit.  We sang  the hymn "I  can feel  love, my blood is circulating   and  I  can see the sacrificial place".   The Evangelist said that now they had come to the time of "Bola". (This use of the word “bola” is in the same sense of traditional doctors when they are divining  with their bones). What they had come to do there at that home was Bola (they would use their spirits, whereas traditional doctors use bones) and they were going to make a sacrifice of porridge, and scented articles.  In the Bible it refers to these as weaker sacrifices. They would be burning these things and also do Bola (i.e. prophesy.,:). He announced that Bola was allowed to anyone who had the gift. If prophets "saw" that the owner of the home was a sorcerer, they should point to him and tell him he was the one causing the trouble - they had been sent by God to do His work so everyone who had Bola should speak.

He continued that he wanted to dance because there was something troubling him and he wanted to "see" what it was. While they were waiting for the candles to be lit they were going to sing hymns, but as it was a special day only those good at dancing should dance i.e. those who could not control their Spirits should not dance. If they did it would be their own fault if they were hurt. He did not want anyone to disturb the prophets i.e. if they danced they must dance like everyone else. If they did not, they would be fighting against the Spirits of the prophets. People should learn to dance at the services during the week and not at the special services. He himself had learnt by practising alone in the bush, turning around the trees.

Then the Moruti of B.U.C.Z. complained that there was someone in that church thinking about their boyfriend and not about the church, he kept catching  this person in his Spirit  and hearing her heart beating.  (As he said this he kept passing around the room and pointing at the wall near my interpreter, who later told me she had been afraid he meant her  as she had been  thinking  at the time about her boyfriend whom she had  seen  on  our way to the  church!!)

 After two hymns and dancing  the Bible was read  by  the B.U.C.Z. Secretary - Numbers 8, v 1-3 during which the 7 candles were lit. The Evangelist continued that he was now going to prepare the sacrificial items, and that as he did this they should continue singing hymns. After a hymn Matthew 10, v. 1 was read. ( Matthew 10 v. 1 - how Christ gave His disciples power against evil spirits, to cure different kinds of sicknesses and diseases.) The Evangelist preached on this theme about how Christ had come and collected his 12 disciples together and told them he was sending them out to preach, but that they should not enter the homes of non-members. They should heal those who were suffering and those with Evil Spirits, they should scare away the evil from them.

Three more hymns followed before the Moruti of B.U.C.Z. interrupted the hymn and complained that when he danced there was a chicken worrying him and holding his Spirit. He could ”see” this chicken scattering mud in the home and later he could prophesy a bone and an egg, and when he follows this chicken scattering mud in his Spirit, he just sees it is like the owner of the home, that his mind is all over the place because his children were not taking care of him. He asked the members of the home to come to the centre, before he continued that in his prophecy he could ”see” a woman coming from the East who sometimes visited their home and she had a daughter with a child. The daughter is the one who had been sent to bewitch them by digging holes and burying sorcery. He could “see” something had been buried in the thatch of the roof. He then pointed towards a point of the thatch with his prophecy pole.

BUCZ Moruiti has been “shown“ by the Holy Spirit the location of sorcery hidden in the thatch roof of the bewitched house. He points to it with his prophecy pole

The unleavened bread  sacrifice based on Leviticus 24 v. 1-8

Prophets dancing around the family for whom service is being held. The family are kneeling around the sacrificial fire.

About a year later, I saw the owner of the home, he told me he had completely recovered now, and, although his sons were still a problem, there was much more co-operation in the family; he felt he had been greatly helped by this Setlhabelo Service