Morality, justice and the challenge of execution of witches in Africa

  • Victor Olusola Olanipekun
Keywords: witchcraft, morality, law, society, justice, religion


The question whether justice can be completely detached from morality seems to be relevant to the discussion of the issues that surround the execution of witches in Africa. In spite the widespread belief in witchcraft in African societies, it is apparent that part of the West as well as the Judeo-Christian traditions also support this view. However, this does not remove the fact that, there are thousands of individuals who are still sceptical about such belief. This paper agrees with the view of those who believe the  existence of witchcraft. Thus, despite the fact that many scholars have written on the existence of witchcraft in Africa, little or no attention has been paid to the question of moral implications of executing witches in Africa. An attempt to fill this gap facilitates an investigation into the nexus between morality and social justice. The fundamental problem now is, is it morally right to kill? Should witches be killed? If witches should be executed, are there moral and legal bases for such killing? How should we account  for the question of sanctity of human life? In this paper, effort shall be made to answer these fundamental questions. The methods employed in this research are critical analysis, philosophical argumentation and conceptual clarification.

Keywords: witchcraft, morality, law, society, justice, religion


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2408-5987
print ISSN: 2276-8386