Seychelles main opposition party leader charged with ‘witchcraft’
Patrick Herminie, leader of the Seychelles’ main opposition party, has been indicted as part of an investigation into suspected “witchcraft” and "unnatural and superstitious" acts along with seven others, including a Tanzanian national.
He was arrested on Friday (September 29) at the headquarters of his United Seychelles Party (USP) and his office searched, before being released and brought to court on Monday, AFP reports.
The investigation is linked to the discovery in August of the unearthed bodies of an elderly woman and a young man in a cemetery on the main island of Mahé.
Herminie, who was president of the National Assembly between 2007 and 2016 and is a candidate in the 2025 presidential election, denounced the decision to indict him as political, telling local media that his prosecution is a "political show" to taint his image.
His name was found on the phone of the indicted Tanzanian national, who was reportedly arrested at Seychelles International Airport at the end of September in possession of stones, small bottles containing a brownish liquid, various powders and documents containing language and symbols described as satanic, according to the Seychelles News Agency.
Prosecutors said that the symbols on the documents were similar to others found in vandalised sites in the archipelago, including Catholic churches, the report said.
Herminie told local media that more than 40 police officers had raided his party's offices in the capital, Victoria, searched for items related to witchcraft, including "bones, body parts, and objects associated with Christianity" but did not find any.
If found guilty, Herminie and the others could face fines. A hearing is scheduled for November 3.
"In Seychelles' history, there has never been until now, a political party leader arrested for superstition and witchcraft. This is something new and it is shameful for Seychelles," he is quoted as saying.
2023 has been the worst year for power cuts implemented by South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom. On November 30, Africa’s most advanced economy was 334 days into a year that had 322 ... more
The cost of the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea will be $6.2bn, Rio Tinto has revealed.
The project is widely recognised the largest untapped high-grade iron ore deposit in the world, and ... more
About a dozen new countries are expected to start producing electricity from nuclear power sources within the next few years, according to the director general of the International Atomic Energy ... more
SELECT `n`.`nid` AS `id`, `n`.`title`, 'bne IntelliNews' AS authors, 'bne IntelliNews' AS bylines, `wc`.`field_website_callout_value` AS `summary`, `smc`.`field_social_media_callout_value` AS `social`, `pd`.`published_at` AS `date`, `p`.`field_publication__tid` AS `publication_id`, `fm`.`uri` AS `image`, `fspcaption`.`field_story_photo_caption_value` AS `image_credit`, `fspcredit`.`field_story_photo_credit_value` AS `image_author`, `ws`.`field_website_sections_tid` AS `section_id`, `fdfs`.`field_subject_tid` AS `subject_id`, `db`.`body_value` AS `body`, `fm2`.`uri` AS `pdf`, `et`.`field_enable_tracking_value` AS `tracking`, `ht`.`field_head_tags_value` AS `headTags`, `bt`.`field_body_tags_value` AS `bodyTags` FROM `node` AS `n`
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_website_callout` AS `wc` ON wc.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_social_media_callout` AS `smc` ON smc.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `publication_date` AS `pd` ON pd.nid = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_publication_` AS `p` ON p.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_story_picture` AS `sp` ON sp.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `file_managed` AS `fm` ON fm.fid = sp.field_story_picture_fid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_story_photo_caption` AS `fspcaption` ON fspcaption.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_story_photo_credit` AS `fspcredit` ON fspcredit.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `workflow_node` AS `wn` ON wn.nid = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_website_sections` AS `ws` ON ws.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_subject` AS `fdfs` ON fdfs.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_body` AS `db` ON db.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_file` AS `ff` ON ff.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `file_managed` AS `fm2` ON fm2.fid = ff.field_file_fid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_enable_tracking` AS `et` ON et.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_head_tags` AS `ht` ON ht.entity_id = n.nid
LEFT JOIN `field_data_field_body_tags` AS `bt` ON bt.entity_id = n.nid WHERE (n.status = 1) AND (n.type = 'article') AND (n.nid = 295205) AND (wn.sid= 3) AND (p.field_publication__tid IN (2465,2851,3184,3159,3266,3264,3270,3265,3267,3268,3269,3171,3168,3185,3170,1346,1345,3180,3175,3254,3249,1207,1208,3181,3231,3177,3186,3178,1003,3187,2975,3204,3198,3188,3202,3196,3250,3189,3160,3161,3312,3313,3173,3314,3315,3167,3259,3257,3263,3258,3260,3261,3262,3174,3316,3165,3192,3163,3282,3190,2811,3256,3317,3162,3318,3191,3297,3182,3179,3166,3319,3376,3320,3172,3255,3169,1008,3203,3197,3321,3252,3164,1307,3322,3183,3220,3176,3201,3323,1327,1020,1006,1009,1013,1014,1018,1005,1328,1010,1011,1002,1012,1311,1330,1017,1016,1019,1004,1001,1334,1335,1336,1015,1337,1338,1339,1340,1341,2496,2501,2517,2529,2506,2505,2524,2513,2526,2537,2489,2490,2520,2536,2488,2532,2500,2515,2503,2493,2527,2523,2510,2525,2498,2499,2528,2507,2487,2511,2521,2502,2491,2519,2497,2492,2514,2495,2509,2512,1629,3358)) LIMIT 1