October 24, 2011
A South African girl was in a coma Monday after being doused in petrol and burned alive in a Johannesburg park, in what police suspect was a satanic ritual, local media reported Monday. Provincial police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsingane said Theologo and her friend were tied up, doused with petrol, and set on fire as a "sacrifice". “What kind of a person does this?” the tearful mother asked. According to Theologo, she was told that the people who burnt Kirsty and Bronwyn had even joined Kirsty’s and Bronwyn’s church in a bid to befriend them.
Kirsty’s family said four young men had gone to an isolated hill with Kirsty and her friend Bronwyn. The two girls, who had been attending a youth service at their church, were offered alcohol that Kirsty spat out because it had tasted strange. Bronwyn, who is believed to have finished the alcohol, began vomiting. One of the men allegedly started dancing while Kirsty laughed. “Suddenly, she (Kirsty) felt wet and the dancing guy lit a match, threw it at her and said ‘laugh at this’,” said Kirsty’s mother, Sylvia Theologo.
While Kirsty was burning, one boy cut a third girl's hand and held it over a Bible so that the blood could soak it, according to one of the girls who was in the group, she told the Theologo family the boys had decided that the two would be sacrificed in a satanic ritual. As the flames engulfed her, her face and head were bashed with rocks and, as she tried to breathe, her throat and lungs were badly burnt. Kirsty suffered third and fourth degree burns both inside and outside her body. The teens were left to burn, after the group left, the girls managed to break free and walk 10 blocks home in their conditions the teenagers were driven to South Rand Hospital by their pastor.
"My sister had no skin left on her face, she had wounds to her head and and her nose had been crushed in," Theologo's sister, Samantha Saunders, told Eye Witness News. Kirsty Theologo is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday after 75 percent of her body was burned from the waist up, her sister, Samantha Theologo, told the local Daily News. Doctors are worried about Kirsty Theologo’s recovery, Samantha said, because her lungs and throat were damaged.
Kirsty’s mother said prayers and the support that the family had been receiving were keeping her strong. “It’s hectic. I couldn’t sleep… I’m praying. I just want my baby girl to be okay. She’s such a good girl. She’s gonna come back, she’ll bounce back. “I have people calling me from Greece, Portugal and America… The support has been really good,” said an emotional Theologo.
Meanwhile in Britain, authorities rescued at least 400 African children who were brought to the country often for use in blood rituals conducted by witch doctors, according to a report in the BBC earlier this month. The report cited a cultural belief in the power of human blood in so-called juju rituals.
"Our experience tells us that traffickers can be anybody. They can be people with power, people with money or people involved in witchcraft," Christine Beddoe, director of the anti-trafficking charity Epcat U.K., told the BBC. "Trafficking can involve witch doctors and other types of professionals in the community who are using those practices."