Storm a warn­ing SA is spir­i­tu­ally lack­ing

CityPress - - News - LUBABALO NGCUKANA lubabalo.ngcuka@city­

A vi­o­lent storm that ripped through a mar­quee, where Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma was ad­dress­ing the Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Day cel­e­bra­tion in Gopane, near Zeerust, in North West on Fri­day, has left tra­di­tional heal­ers and seers won­der­ing why the gods dis­played such wrath.

“Anger is hard to hide. This is a sign of com­pro­mised spir­its,” said Solly Nduku, the gen­eral sec­re­tary of the National Uni­tary Pro­fes­sional As­so­ci­a­tion for African Tra­di­tional Health Prac­ti­tion­ers of SA.

He added that the in­ci­dent was not nec­es­sar­ily a show of anger by the an­ces­tors to­wards Zuma, but it might be point­ing to a coun­try that had gen­er­ally “for­got­ten its spir­i­tual be­ing”.

“I do not think the col­lapse of the mar­quee had any­thing to do with the pres­i­dent as an in­di­vid­ual or Marikana, be­cause that was a Day of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion event, not a Marikana com­mem­o­ra­tion,” he said, while not­ing that the tent blew off sec­onds af­ter Zuma had re­ferred to Marikana in his speech, which ended abruptly there­after.

On the sub­ject of Marikana, Zuma de­clared: “The in­ci­dent was painful and trau­matic, not only for the fam­i­lies, but all South Africans.”

That’s when the gale blew, sweep­ing up the tent from its foun­da­tions.

It was not the first time the pres­i­dent had to be whisked away from an event be­cause of a tent blow­ing away in stormy weather.

It also hap­pened on Septem­ber 24 2012 at Lotana vil­lage in Tsolo in the East­ern Cape. Zuma was at­tend­ing a Her­itage Day event, or­gan­ised by the Dosini clan of the amaMpon­domise na­tion.

Nduku was present on that day, and peo­ple wit­nessed Zuma’s body­guards jump­ing up to res­cue him as the storm wreaked havoc, forc­ing him to leave the venue be­fore he even had a chance to speak.

Nduku de­scribed the in­ci­dent in Tsolo as be­ing “not about the pres­i­dent per­son­ally, but an is­sue of amaMpon­domise and their in­ter­nal prob­lems. Hav­ing said that, if these events point to an un­healthy state of the coun­try be­cause he [Zuma] is the head of state, he is go­ing to be af­fected as the leader.”

Nduku said Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Day should not be treated as a for­mal­ity, but rather com­mem­o­rated in the name of the peo­ple who suf­fered and died dur­ing apartheid.

He said most of the de­ceased had deep spir­i­tual be­liefs and re­called how, dur­ing past Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Day events, in­ter­faith prayers and rit­u­als had been con­ducted at Free­dom Park in Pre­to­ria to ap­pease the spir­its of the de­parted. “We need to ap­pease the an­ces­tors and ask for their guid­ance and bless­ings be­fore we host such cer­e­monies. I am not sure if this was done in this case. If we forget our her­itage and cul­ture spir­i­tu­ally, we will be­come a sick na­tion.”

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