Lessons were temporarily suspended at Amhlophe High School in Bulawayo on Friday after twenty-three pupils fell into hysteria.
The incident occurred just after 8 AM at the school located in Pumula East.
Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education director of communication and advocacy Taungana Ndoro said most of the pupils who were affected are in Form Three while one of them is in Form One. He said:
I can confirm that 23 of our learners fell into hysteria at Amhlophe High School in Bulawayo.
We contacted the parents of the affected learners to come and take them home.
Most of the learners were in Form Three while one of them was in Form One.
The incident temporarily disrupted learning but everything later returned to normal.
On Monday our ministry teams will provide psychosocial support to the learners.
We can only provide scientific support to the learners and we don’t have an opinion on what could have happened.
Remember the Witchcraft Suppression Act is still in existence so we cannot have an opinion on this except by providing scientific evidence.
Reports indicate that learners were acting in a disorderly manner as some of them were exiting classrooms through the windows.
Some of the pupils were seen shaking while groaning seemingly in pain and others struggled to walk on their own and were supported by parents and guardians.
A parent of one of the affected learners who identified herself to CITE said some learners came to her home in the morning telling her to rush to the school and attend to her daughter. She said:
I rushed to the school and when I got there my child was kneeling there praying in tongues.
Some of the “possessed” children charged toward her, one of them pushed her and she fell to the ground where she started frothing from her mouth.
We carried her home and she hasn’t been ok since. She kept screaming saying she is seeing snakes and people dressed in black. She was so terrified.