Monday, December 07, 2009

Culture as an excuse for superstition and stupidity

The ANC are creating a bread and circus show for the masses with their superstition and barbarism.

Condone cruelty in the name of culture and you tell people it's ok to do cruelty and violent crime, as long as they don't come knocking at your door for services. You can speak to your sangoma to give you a good luck charm so you'll get an RDP house that doesn't fall down.

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by Justice Malala


The bull is now dead. In the aftermath of the noise and the anger in the week prior to his slaughter, I wish to speak for the dead bull. Most importantly, though, I wish to speak for a sad, disintegrating and swiftly disappearing ANC.

On Saturday in Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, President Jacob Zuma and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini led the Ukweshwama ritual in which young men killed a bull with their bare hands. The killing of the bull was to celebrate the first fruits of the harvest. The strength of the dying bull, it is believed, would be transferred to the king.

The problem with the debate, if one can call the insults that were hurled after the organisation Animal Rights for Africa brought a court application to have the ceremony stopped because it believed the killing of the bull was cruel, is that it is framed incorrectly.

By Friday, the noise that persisted was about black versus white, European versus African, colonialist versus "freedom fighter".

In truth, the debate should be about what is right and wrong in a new and liberated South Africa. It is about what carves a path for us into the future as a nation.

Firstly, the bull should not be killed in such a manner.

The pummelling with fists until an animal dies cannot but be cruel and painful. None of us should stand for cruelty meted out in the name of culture. Or because the Spanish also kill their bulls cruelly. I do not measure myself by the lowest standards, but by the highest.


The argument put forward was that this bull must suffer because my ancestors made animals suffer. The argument is, with all due respect, stupid: my ancestors had not read the work of JM Coetzee and were not on Facebook. I know that I know more than they did, and that my practices must of necessity differ with theirs.


What is surprising is to see the ANC, the party of progress for 98 years in South Africa, falling into the backwardness of support for superstition and cruelty to animals in the name of culture and tradition.


"The slaughtering of cattle carries a particular significance in African culture, as it does in many other countries in the world," wrote Zizi Kodwa, Zuma's spokesman in the ANC.


"The disrespect and contempt for African culture and traditions demonstrated by the debate that continues to ensue in our public discourse demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of those who have anointed themselves voices of reason. This is reminiscent of the arrival of the European settlers on our shores who declared that our people were barbaric heathens who needed to be civilised."


Kodwa is ignoring a crucial point: is the practice itself cruel or not? Does the fact that we have practised it for so long make it right? Why not kill this bull swiftly?


At the conference of the precursor to the ANC Youth League, the SA Youth Congress, in KaNyamazane in 1990, one matter obsessed the delegates.


Clause 10 of the Aims and Objectives of the draft Constitution proclaimed that one of the goals of the organisation's members was to "fight all forms of superstition".


The delegates from Polokwane had a problem with this clause. In their view "witchcraft existed" and they had "every right to burn alleged witches", as indeed many were doing.


Many of the other delegates pointed out that in fact, viewed scientifically, no such thing as witchcraft could possibly exist.


The ANC of today seems to be travelling backwards to beliefs in superstition, such as witchcraft. It is an ANC in denial of progress, in denial of the science that leaders such as Blade Nzimande claim to follow in terms of Marxist-Leninist writings.


This is the ANC that Kader Asmal correctly pointed out is gripped by "low level decision-making".


This is the debate that should be raging inside the ANC itself. The question asked should be: what does the ANC want?


Does it want to take over where the cultural chauvinism of the Inkatha Freedom Party left off, or does it want to be the party of Pixley ka Seme - discarding the incoherent in our cultures and embracing the progressive?


Clearly for Zuma, who has morphed into a latter-day Zulu monarchist modelled on the Mangosuthu Buthelezi of the 1980s, the answer is only one. He is taking the ANC back to beliefs such as those shown outside his trial in Pietermaritzburg: the burning of incense for luck, the killing of bulls to strengthen kings - and what else? The burning of witches?


I have spoken for the bull. I mourn for an ANC that has abandoned science for superstition.

5 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

The old curfew system was a fine and good system which prevented blacks from making mischief against their employers.

Anyone who calls me a racist for this is warmly recommended to take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut.

Pensioner said...

I like this Julius Malala, he comes across as a young man who is not afraid of having his say. I have been watcing him on eTV for a while and he is very critical of the government, where criticism is due, which is of course quite often.

Sakkie de Kok said...

"I have spoken for the bull. I mourn for an ANC that has abandoned science for superstition."

Dachshund, why did you expect any different? Surely you have observed the beast long enough now to know it’s nature?
The black man is a primitive throw back to almost prehistoric times, whether you like it or not. You can’t civilize a race in a few hundred years.
It took dozens of centuries for the white man to reach his present position. Anyone who thought the black man could emulate the whites achievement is living in cloud cuckoo land.
It is a proven fact that blacks, on average, have lower IQ´s than whites, so even with the white man’s help and guidance, it’s going to take just as long.
This isn’t a negative racist comment, it´s just a fact.

Dachshund said...

True that the curfew system was good, but whites had sleep in servants because the locations were so far away from the white areas. It created dependency by blacks on whites for free housing, which perpetuates itself by continued dependency on the ANC for more of the same.

The domestic workers who still have jobs all want a room in a white area because of the same old transport problems but nobody wants to give them rooms because of security problems. So now what they do? Armed robbery.

Exzanian said...

Justice Malala is indeed more enlightened than most. However, he is a minority voice amongst blacks. He too will be silenced in due course