Call for mission truth probe

A FORMER pupil at the Domino Servite Mission School at kwaSizabantu in Kranskop has called for a mini truth commission to document the history of abusive practices at the mission.

The pupil, who does not want to be named, said: “Thanks to your newspaper for coming out with the shocking happenings in that place. I would have come out with what I know about the mission – the human torture, the brainwashing – but fear dominates.”

The pupil attended the school in the mid-1980s and said he was regularly beaten and humiliated. He cites one instance in which he was beaten “66 times on my buttocks with those red pipes used for hot water, and [they] threatened to fire me from the mission. I was swollen almost for a week. Who could I go to complain to? No one. Fear was ruling us.”

He said that apart from the beatings that took place in the Upper Room, as reported in the Witness, “beatings were performed in public in the ‘Esitezi Esiswa'”. “The whites were treated okay but torture was against us as blacks,” he said.

“It would be better if we have a meeting with these missionaries and come to solutions. These people are unapproachable, so… someone [needs] to arrange a meeting for us as past pupils and them and also a private commission where we will freely put our points with no fear.”

One of the several letter writers to the Witness since allegations of abuse were published, said: “All attempts to discuss problems with the mission leadership failed. It is my prayer that the happenings of the past few weeks will bring the leadership to a point where they will start to do some soul searching It is unfortunate that we, as Christians, have to do this by means of the media, but the truth must be told or many more shall get hurt.”

Responding to the dismissal by the mission of allegations by Erika Joubert, the writer said: “Erika is also accused of being influenced by the New Age Movement. I, and many others who are voicing our opinions, are definitely not involved in or influenced by New Age thinking. We are Bible-believing Christians who are trying to understand the behaviour of the leaders at a Christian mission.”