Pol­i­tics can be a haunting ex­pe­ri­ence th­ese days

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - COMMENT -

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.

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