Julian Eldorduy

The Rise of the Sangoma: The Political and Social Dynamics of the Rise of Witchcraft in Contemporary South Africa

In the years following the end of apartheid, South Africa has experienced a growing number of witchcraft accusations. These accusations often lead to violence, and often disrupt civil processes within the newly formed state. My area of research will cover the rise of witchcraft accusations in South Africa and how it has affected the social and political dynamic of the area. Using library research and second-hand case study, I will examine how family feuding and political infighting fuel this issue. While previous scholars have attributed such beliefs to irrational superstition, I will seek to show that witchcraft is an indelible element of culture in South Africa. It is an element that political authority cannot simply abrogate or ignore. My research shows that the rise of witchcraft accusations in contemporary South Africa compares to historical instances of the rise of such beliefs. This information will allow readers to view witchcraft in South Africa in a more appropriate historical context, and it will help to sidestep cultural misunderstandings about these beliefs.