Footwashing beats a hock ey stick
down and bathe his smelly toes. No sir, I don’t. I’d almost prefer dodging an insane driver with a hockey stick.
However, if an enraged motorist does march up to my window with violent intentions, I shall now shout: “Wait, wait, I’ll wash your feet.”
Though I’m not sure that will always do the trick. What if he doesn’t want his feet washed? Maybe I’ll only make the offer as a last resort.
Vorster and Geldenhuys are not the first South Africans to ask each other to take off their shoes and socks, with a basin of hot water and soap at the ready.
Adriaan Vlok, minister of law and order in the PW Botha government, led the way when he washed the feet of Frank Chikane in 2006 in atonement for having tried to kill him, when he was secretary-general of the SA Council of Churches, by poisoning his underpants.
Or at least his security offi- cers did the deed. Or failed to do the deed. They probably hadn’t had much experience in getting rid of anti-apartheid activists in this unique way.
They probably asked: “Wouldn’t it be easier just to blow him up?”
But no, poisoned underpants was the devilish instruction. It almost certainly saved Chikane’s life.
Vlok was inspired by the Bible where people were always washing other people’s feet, notably Jesus himself, who cleaned up his disciples’ feet in spite of Peter’s initial objections. In fact Peter said: “You will never wash my feet.” But he immediately changed his mind when Jesus threatened to excommunicate him, and he asked for a headand-hand wash too, to be on the safe side.
Jesus wisely decided that feet alone should suffice.
If road-rage perpetrators and victims were to start having showers together, there is no knowing where such fraternisation might end.
In any case Pontius Pilate showed what happens when you make a point of washing hands, even if they are your own.
In those days feet got much dirtier because everyone wore sandals. You practically needed a scrubbing brush. When we were young boys my brother and I ran around barefoot, and the only thing that could get the grime off was Jik, which wasn’t available at stores in biblical times.
I see that two senior DA councillors in George got into an argy-bargy over a parking spot in front of the municipal offices. One claims that in the pushing and shoving his neck was injured, in spite of being a judo black belt, and has laid a charge against the other.
Why don’t they just wash each other’s feet?
And at the same time the accused could give the plaintiff a neck rub.