Politics can be a haunting experience these days
MAYBE it’s my imagination, but the dead seem awfully busy these days. Given that ours is an ubuntu-haunted world, it was always probable, if not rational, that the ancestors would have an important role in the affairs of the living. But even so, they seem to be putting in a lot of overtime.
This week they were drummed into service by a group of traditional healers who burnt incense, sprinkled tobacco and sang outside the Pretoria hospital where Nelson Mandela has been treated for the past seven weeks.
Their leader, one Khubane Mashele, put in the call: “We summon the great kings and soldiers of the struggle to help us in calling the ancestors of Mandela, and help him heal, because we still need him.”
Are they, I wonder, the same ancestors standing by to bring down heaps of harm on Julius Malema, the would-be liberator? Last month, on Youth Day, he and his followers were warned by President Jacob Zuma not to take on the ruling party “because if you do so, the ancestors will deal with you”.
Malema ignored this and unwisely launched the Economic Freedom Fighters anyway. In these matters, Zuma has a direct hotline to wherever it is the spirits gather. With a bit of name-dropping here and there, it was all go in the curse department and the ancestors are now royally messing with Malema’s head. As a result, and as this column noted last week, there’s been much mischief in the beret department.
Those in the know suggest this is a sign that more trouble is on the way.
But, further to the veneration of the dead, it has come as no small surprise that the well-known “psychic medium” John Edward plans to return to our shores in March.
The news has greatly excited us here at the Mahogany Ridge. We had to pinch ourselves on Wednesday to check if we weren’t dreaming when we read in the Cape Times that Edward would, for a fact, be conversing with the dead. But no, there it was, without fear of contradiction:
“The evening will begin with an interactive question-and-answer session. (Edward) will then connect to the other side and give messages to the audience from family and friends who have crossed over…
“Edward has brought a fresh, honest and thought-provoking attitude to the world of psychic phenomena.
“As a psychic medium, author and lecturer, he has helped thousands with his ability to predict events and communicate with those who have crossed over to the other side.”
Much of the thoughts provoked on reading this at the Ridge were, though fresh and honest, best left unreported.
Perhaps the least outrageous was a suggestion that the dead probably don’t want to be disturbed, especially by whining relatives, and it really should be like it says on the box: rest in peace.
“Just think,” was how one regular put it, “life’s a bitch, and you die. And still the nagging bastards come after you? What’s the point? You may as well carry on living just to annoy them.”
To be fair, a daily paper did point out that no one attending Edward’s flimflam event “is guaranteed a reading”. Which seems a bit unfair considering tickets are R533 to R996 a pop. For that kind of tom, I’d not only want a chat with my dead Gran, but I’d want the old dear to give us tea and some of her shortbread as well.
More flim- flam. The DA leader Helen Zille has been gamely justifying her party’s decision to sign on Thembu king Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo as a member. Her critics have some concerns that Dalindyebo’s moral character is, alas, somewhat stained: in May 2005, the Mthatha High Court convicted him of fraud, murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and arson charges.
He is currently appealing against a 15-year prison sentence.
Charges of hypocrisy are perhaps not unfounded.
Dalindyebo’s membership may, however, be short-lived. If the Appeal Court upholds his criminal conviction, he will be expelled, Zille has said.
Until then, he’s a member. “After all, we reckoned,” Zille explained, “no one else who joins the DA as an ordinary member is subject to an ideology test or a ‘due diligence’ investigation. That hurdle only comes if you wish to become a DA public representative.”
Perhaps the willingness to join a political party is more than enough in the “due diligence” department.
Politics is a dirty business, full of thieves, liars, narcissists and psychopaths. It’s bad enough having to vote for them, but anyone who wants to join their filthy gang really does need locking up.