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Camped nearby, contingents of the rapid response police force – known as Ninjas – and the national army were waiting for trouble, and moved in quickly.According to the government, 13 people, allegedly snipers, were killed in the armed response (not Kalupeteka himself: he’s in custody, having sustained severe beatings).The date to remember – the date that will, in time, become its own symbol of brutality and oppression – is 16 April 2015.Details of what happened are still sketchy, but the basics have emerged – despite another monumental effort to keep information out of the public eye.There were also stories of police officers sparing women and children who escaped down the mount but were unable to elude the manhunt that ensued.These officers also told me how they bore witness to the filling of mass graves, dug by an excavator, in the nearby village of Cuassamba.” In an interview with Daily Maverick, Marques said the state was still working to eliminate members of Kalupeteka’s sect.“It’s interesting how quickly in Angola the figures on massacres and alleged massacres grow…I found myself thinking this is just like 27 May, regarding the so-called estimates of the dead which went from at the time perhaps several hundred, to 2,000-3,000, right up to 15,000, 25,000, 50,000, and some people saying 80,000-90,000,” said Pawson.Nonetheless, testimony received by respected journalists and civil society actors, coupled with leaked photographs and footage from Mount Sumi itself, suggest that the government’s claim of only 13 dead is laughable, with the real figure likely to be in the hundreds.

Kalupeteka is a pastor and a gospel singer, and the charismatic leader of an offshoot of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, known as , Light of the World.It was Pawson’s dogged, forensic investigation, published last year in her book that exposed the massacre to the world.If seems like ancient history, then try October 1992, when thousands of opposition supporters were purged in the interim between the first and second rounds of the presidential election.But his sources, including police and military officers who participated in the raid, tell a very different story: “They all told me how pilgrims were mown down indiscriminately, many of them praying to the end.They all gave accounts of how makeshift shelters were set alight with people inside.

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