Angelique Serrao, Sunday Tribune, October 24, 2011
A teenage girl is in a coma after she and a friend were doused with petrol and set alight in an apparent satanic ritual.
The girls, one 18 and the other 16, were among eight youngsters who went to a koppie behind the Linmeyer swimming pool on Julius Street on Friday night.
According to Samantha Theologo, her 18-year-old sister Kirsty has 75 percent burns to her body from the waist up.
Doctors had told them, she said, that they were worried about her sister’s recovery because her lungs and throat were damaged. Kirsty was scheduled to have surgery on Monday.
Samantha said the group of five boys and three girls knew each other well and her sister would hang out with them often. One of the boys was a neighbour and one of the girls lived on the same street.
Teenagers say the koppie is a well-known spot for youngsters to sit at weekends to look at the view and drink.
The Theologo family heard from the other victim–Kirsty’s friend, who is recovering in a private hospital–that the boys had decided that the two would be sacrificed in some sort of satanic ritual.
“We don’t know exactly what happened. We heard they were tied up, but we don’t know,” said Samantha.
The boys are said to have poured petrol over her sister and set her alight. Her friend then tried to put out the flames, rolling Kirsty in the sand. In the process she was also burnt.
The rest of the group ran away, leaving the two girls to climb down the hill on their own.
“In the state she was in, my sister made sure they walked to safety,” said Samantha. “She walked all the way to Rosettenville–about 2km away.
“I wasn’t home, but my mom told me she found my sister in the bathroom washing her face.
“My mom said it was horrific.”
According to a medical source, speaking to The Star on condition of anonymity, the teenagers were driven to South Rand Hospital by their pastor, then transferred to other hospitals.
“It was impressive that they walked all that way in their condition.”
The source said a third girl told them that the boys cut her hand and held it over a Bible so that the blood could soak it, while Kirsty was burnt.
Provincial police spokeswoman Captain Pinky Tsingane said the girls were tied up and there was speculation the attack was a satanic ritual, but they still needed to investigate this.
A case of attempted murder was opened.
By late on Sunday, two boys, aged 19 and 21, had handed themselves into the Booysens police station, said Tsingane.
Meanwhile, Kirsty’s family are dealing with extreme shock.
“It’s horrible, it’s scary and just horrific what happened to my sister,” said Samantha.
“My mom is in a state and can’t talk. Friends are breaking down.
“Kirsty is in Grade 11 and is loved by so many people. This is a nightmare.”
Izabella Little, from the teenage advice forum Lifetalk, said Satanism was not spoken about very often.
There was an incident in Cape Town last year where a mother contacted her to seek advice after her teenage daughter was kidnapped and brought to a type of church where another teenager was murdered.
She managed to escape, but was very traumatised.
“Police investigated the incident, but it was never mentioned in the media,” said Little.
“We always hear rumours about Satanism, but it is not something people are talking about. We would like them to come forward so that this can come into the open.”