Angry Satanists who say a cat killer is giving them a bad name is offering a 500 GBP cash award to catch those responsible and see them punished.
The South African Satanic Church was forced to make a statement distancing themselves from the killings after people said the murdered cats were probably killed as part of a Satanic ritual, and to prove they were serious, have offered a GBP 500 reward to catch the culprits – which is even more than what is being offered by a local animal rights charity.
At least 42 cats have reportedly been bludgeoned and hacked to death in the township of Manenberg in the South African port city of Cape Town.
The Animal Welfare Society of South Africa (AWS) said on 13th August that autopsies have confirmed that the felines were all brutally killed by a person or group.
After finding two other dead cats on the morning of 17th August, the AWS confirmed that the total number of killings currently stands at 42. The attacks started on 15th July.
As such, the animal welfare group has pledged a ZAR 7,000 (GBP 340) reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers.
AWS spokesman Allan Perrins said: “They were bludgeoned to death, allegedly with a brick. Their bodies were found in Renoster Walk Manenberg, which is a notoriously dangerous part of the area.”
Autopsies also showed that most of the cats were dismembered after being bludgeoned to death with some of their organs also being cut out in the sick attacks.
The incident has sparked rumours that the cats are being killed as part of a religious ritual, prompting the South African Satanic Church (SASC) to distance themselves from the feline deaths.
The SASC was registered as a non-profit company in 2020 by founders Riaan Swiegelaar and Adri Norton.
Swiegelaar and Norton said on 16th August: “The general public still associates rituals involving animals with Satanism. This is mainly due to misconceptions spread through the Satanic Panic.
“We as the South African Satanic Church do not condone any abuse or slaughter of animals. This goes against Satanism, as well as satanic philosophy. None of our rituals require the slaughter of any living being.”
They added that the SASC held a meeting on the morning of 16th August and allocated ZAR 10,000 (GBP 485) for information on the feline serial killer.
Shortly after its formation last year, Swiegelaar said the SASC intends to offer a different way of doing things compared to traditional religions and that they want to educate the public on what Satanism really means.
He said: “We review Satan as an archetype that represents our potential that we can reach as human beings.”
Swiegelaar and Norton also explained the differences between their church and atheism: “Satan symbolises action. In South Africa, inaction is the norm, hence why our country is in the state it is. In South Africa, we would certainly gain should individuals stand up for their beliefs and take action for what is right.”
Norton claims that Satanism has been used as a scapegoat for too long and it is their mission is to challenge the public’s misconceptions about their beliefs.
Both founders of the religious organisation, which is not linked to the American Church of Satan founded by Anton LaVey in 1966, said that they do not worship the Devil and are not the enemies of other traditional religions.
The SASC also boasts about how it assists in the community with outreach projects and donations to social and animal welfare groups.
The search for the cat serial killer continues.
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