Zion Christian Churches Churches Liturgy Prophets Services Members

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

This service held by a B.U.C.Z. family, was on one night during the week as there were no free Saturday nights.

Kanana church came to help as a church, and other individuals from other churches, who were probably friends of the family, attended to assist and support. After the arrival of Kanana, the Moruti in charge first welcomed them and then warned the congregations to concentrate properly on their work, they should not dance unless they felt strong enough and were fully repentant. If anyone fell in the sacrificial fire they should be left, as this meant that they were not fully repentant. That fire had a special gas in it that attracts sinners. Even if a person danced behind others, if he was a sinner, that gas would pull him into the fire. (This power of the special gas in the sacrificial fire seems to be similar to the power attributed to noga ya metsi - the water snake).

Then we all went outside for the sacrifice to be made. This was conducted as described previously, with the family sitting in a semi-circle at one end of the fire, the prophets dancing around them in an inner circle around the fire, and the rest of the congregation singing, clapping and drumming in an outer circle, and the church choir holding the candles.

After the sacrifice had been made, the dancing and hymn singing continued for about 45 minutes non-stop, during which prophets started to receive the Spirit. The B.U.C.Z. Moruti called upon them one at a time to reveal what they had "seen". One prophet revealed that his Spirit had shown him that there was no agreement in the house, but when he tried to ask why, he received no answer from his Spirit. He could "see" a black woman who limped when she walked. When he was dancing he could "see" lightning striking their home and destroying the house. (This woman was apparently the mother of the man engaged to the daughter of the house and she was a well-known sorcerer)

Next the B.U.C.Z. Moruti said that he had "seen" that at night there was something like a big baboon. He could "see" the mother of the home having trouble with her legs. If he "went" to their Lands, he could "see" a light-skinned woman who had cuts on the cheeks, (traditional doctors make cuts on a person for a variety of reasons) and this woman was always sent by her parents to steal soil from their yard to bewitch them so that they would have trouble with their legs at their Lands. Their aim was to bewitch the family so that they would not get married. He could also "see" that they always had trouble with storms that struck their houses at the Lands and blew them down. He said that when he had arrived at that kgotla he had just had a vision of lightning striking in the kgotla. (Two weeks after this service, a relative's house from the same kgotla) was struck at the Lands and everything, including money, was totally destroyed.) In Kanye, he could "see" that there was a woman who always came to visit them, she approached from the East. When they were sleeping they always heard strange noises. He could "see" pain in the shoulder of the mother of the home, moving down her arm, and into her stomach so that she felt sick and could not eat anything. In the future he could "see" that her arm would become paralysed  because of sorcery.

He could also  "see" that often the family felt like sitting down together to discuss  their  problems, but  when  they sat down they found they had forgotten what they wanted  to say. He could "see"  that  it was mostly the boys of the family who were affected in that home. They often felt they could not settle and were restless and wandered all over the place. When they were away they felt they would return home but when they arrived they felt restless and did not want to do anything. The woman of the home agreed  that this was so.

Next  one  of the  sons was  asked  if  this was  true.  He agreed  it was, and asked the congregation   to pray  for   him. The Moruti  continued that two weeks before something had been buried outside the entrance to their  home,  and  this would  cause  them  to  have   problems with their  legs both in Kanye and at their Lands.    He could "see" that if the sons were in love with a  girl they would just  leave their home and go to the girl's home. He again referred to the noise they always heard on their roof at night,  when  they  looked  for the source it looked like a cat. He said that there was a woman who wore  a black  head-scarf who visited  them. The woman of the house  agreed to this.   He warned them that that  woman had a friend  or  child who was  sent to bewitch those people with a cat. But when they tried to look for it, all they could see was a very  small  child who cried like a cat. The woman agreed that they indeed heard noises at night, that at first sounded like a cat  and  then like a person. The Moruti could "see" that they could not sleep well at night and their blankets irritated them. They had a blanket of two colours and a piece of fringe had been cut off at one corner. He could "see" that someone had lost a pair of trousers. One of  the older sons replied that he often had missing clothes, and as it was  only him who suffered  like  that he was worried. The Moruti continued that  often  their cups went missing,  and  a friend of the woman  with the black head-scarf had once borrowed their things for a party and not returned them. Then he asked if their primus stove was there.

Another  prophet broke  in. He revealed that he could prophesy cattle that "came" to  their kraal,  like bogadi  cattle.  One  was red with red-tipped   horns.   A son  then replied  that  all their  bogadi cattle were hornless,  but the Moruti replied  that   if it  had  grown  horns  that was what they would  have been   like.  The Spirit  showed him  that  this  cow was the one causing the problems in the home. This cow had been given to them as Masori. (When a person starts to work he should give his  Malome - maternal Uncle some money, also if he finds anything he should give it to him to please the Badimo (Ancestors). If this is not done, the person is cursed. The Malome in return gives something in exchange. This cow had been like this. It had been given in exchange for a bull as bulls and rams also belong to Bo-Malome. Then when they are given to the Malome, the Malome will give a cow or sheep in exchange. The gift to the Malome is called Masori, and the reciprocal gift is called go tlhapisa Masori - to was Masori). This prophet could “see” that they needed another Setlhabelo at their Lands - of a sheep to effect a cure of this particular cause of their problems.

At this point another prophet interrupted. He prophesied. the younger brother. He could "see" that this young man had pains and often felt like weeping and never wanted to stay at home. When he had these troubles he felt tired and lazy. Sometimes his neck ligaments became so stiff he could not move his neck. The young man replied he had not noticed this. The prophet continued that when this started he had a headache first which would travel to his heart. He felt blood in his nose and mouth. The young man agreed that the latter was true and asked for prayers. They could see that other Zionists where he worked in the South African mines were bewitching him.

The the B.U.C.Z. Moruti continued that he could "see" that a daughter of the home was having problems with women who were always hunting her. He could even "see" her being caused by these women, who were sorcerers, to be hit by a lorry. (3 days later when she was returning from fetching water, the brakes of a parked lorry gave way and it hit her. She was taken to the hospital with severe bruising and shock.)

These women were the ones  who were causing these problems for her. They were jealous of her because of the man she was engaged to. Even her mother-in-law did not like her now, although she had been one of the initiators of the engagement originally. The young woman replied that she was not aware of this but there had once been church members who had been accused of being sorcerers and her enemies. She was not yet clear if the Moruti was referring to them. Originally they had wanted to be married by her fiance. Then when they had discovered that she was engaged to him they had wanted to harm her. The cause of this had been because her fiance had made their daughter pregnant and they had wanted him to marry her, but he was already engaged to her, so they became very jealous of her even though the fiance had paid them 6 cattle in damages and supported his child.

This same prophet could also "see" that an older son would take all his things during a family disagreement and go and live somewhere else. The son agreed that he had once thought of this. The prophet could "see" in his Spirit a girl who always came to that home. She was light-skinned and had small eyes and when she came she was always friendly. This girl came from the north (from uphill). This girl needed prayers because he could see that she was a church member but maybe she was sent as a sorcerer. When this girl came she liked to sit on a chair or on a bed. Then she called to the son and asked him to go with her.*1  He repeated that he could "see" lightning hitting a family in that kgotla and that the girl of the home would have an accident caused by the girl who had been made pregnant by her fiance. They should beware of the woman with the black head-scarf whom they always helped but she was really trying to bewitch them.

Several hymns followed during which the sons of the family "got the Spirit" very strongly and had to be restrained by strong men.

Then the daughter of the home started jumping high in the air and tearing off her head-scarf after we had all re-entered the house. Apparently this is common in a home that is heavily bewitched and is caused by the traditional sorcery fighting with the Zionist's power.

As the Setlhabelo part of the service was now over, I left at this point. It was about 3.00 a.m. The service continued until sun- rise as an ordinary church service.

In April 1979, the baby of a girl of the home was finally born despite the fact that she had been so bewitched. I saw her in June when she was still a Motsetsi, she was very fat and both she and the baby were wearing Zion cords on wrists, waists, ankles etc. The room was "heavily protected" by cords and bottles of Holy Water. Later that year in September, she was finally married to her fiance.

*1 The light-skinned girl with the small eyes, came to live at their home, and had a child with the son, unfortunately she lost her next two babies. She was engaged to this son, she is the same girl mentioned who had been given Holy Water to help her find a husband. She had become a Zion Church member, but her family were not as this is probably why she moved in with her future in-laws.

Setlhabelo sa kgomo service (sacrifice of a cow)

After revealing the prophecies to the family - the cause of their problems and the solutions as revealed by Moya, the family are cleansed and sprinkled with protective Holy Water

The service moved outside around the sacrificial fire , the family were seated around the fire and the congregation in an outer circle. The church choir holding the lighted candles. The sacrifice items  were then cast into and were burnt on the fire. The congregation sang and clapped the hymns  to call Moya (the Holy Spirit) to  the Prophets  who were dancing around the fire and stated to receive prophecies from Moya (the Holy Spirit).