Foot­wa­shing be­ats a hock ey stick

Die Burger - - By -

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.

■ john­vscott@mweb.co.za

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