The offending album cover. Satanic or arty?

South African pop star Toya Delazy has had to defend herself against accusations of Satanism and being a member of the Illuminati.

Following the release of details about her upcoming second album, Ascension, the openly-lesbian singer was slammed on Facebook about the image used on cover of the album.

In the striking cover, Delazy is seen sticking her gold-painted tongue out at the viewer. She makes the “peace” sign with both hands next to her eyes. There is a psychedelic pattern in the background behind her.

Some saw the image as being satanic or including symbolism representing the Illuminati; a rumoured group of secret organisations believed by conspiracy theorists and some religious groups to be conspiring to control world affairs.

Delazy responded with a lengthy explanation denying the claims and explaining the meaning of the cover. “That is what extremist religious groups do… they call ‘satanic’ whatever goes against their beliefs,” she said.

“During my education, I have been oppressed by teachers, leaders, adults, calling satanic all sorts of things: talking to boys was satanic, watching TV was satanic, listening to music was satanic, lipstick was satanic, girls wearing pants was satanic, long black hair was satanic…” explained Delazy.

“Don’t be afraid of an arty album cover. Ascension is not about growing your bank account or your wardrobe, it’s about ascending your inner wealth. Wealth is nothing if it is not inner. You can have millions in the bank, yet if you are incompetent and nasty, it won’t take you anywhere.

“That is what I portray on that cover, the inner wealth, the inner beauty, hence the gold tongue, the gold heart and the gold hands and the peace signs. These hands, this mouth and this heart took me where I am now, nothing else,” said Delazy.

Her response only served to unleash a further fire-storm of comments, with many supporting her and others refusing to accept her explanation.

Delazy was accused of representing the head of a demon on the cover, of being “un-African” and being part of a “new world order.”

One supportive fan, Jimmy Sibisi, responded: “I weep for those who have been indoctrinated by this ever failing society. If you’re an anomaly they will label all kinds of nasty things. She’s different, you are basic. She’s living life to the fullest and you’re living it in fear of something you don’t even understand.”

You can read the more than 700 comments on Delazy’s Facebook page here. Ascension will be released on 28 October.

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