This appeared in the Cape Argus on February 4th.
I've had an argument with Black Coffee, who sent in the story, over this one, so wanted to see what the readers would think.
Aside from the obvious animal cruelty, I do not see this as the action of "marginalised" groups, as the text says, but as an act of imperialism from the dominant, majority group. The fact that they are not dominant in Cape Town itself is irrelevant - as anyone who has spent time in the CBD knows, there are no shortage of Xhosas on the busy streets.
The Cape is the one part of SA that has not been completely taken over by the majority ethnic group, and this attempt to stamp authority on the region under the dubious guise of "commemoration" should be resisted.
Have I misread this?
A group of sangomas plan to slaughter a bull on Thibault Square during the opening ceremony of a festival aimed at drawing people to the CBD.
But a decision from the City of Cape Town to grant permission to the organisers of the annual Infecting the City Festival is still pending.
The performing arts festival happens on the streets and public squares of the city.
The sacrifice is part of its "Human rite" theme, which will showcase a host of traditional ceremonies in the city centre.
Brett Bailey, curator of the festival, said he approached a group of Xhosa sangomas on how they proposed opening the festival in a traditional manner.
He said they had suggested a slaughter to commemorate their Xhosa ancestors, who had died as prisoners on Robben Island between the 19th century and the 1980s.
Bailey, who had done some research, suggested using the square, which had been under the ocean at the time and connected the rite with the sea flowing to Robben Island.
"The Infecting the City team is seeking permission from the city authorities for the ritual slaughter," he said. It was not a "shock gesture" because the suggestion came from traditional leaders. There was a lack of Xhosa spirituality in the city and the goal was to encourage "marginalised" groups to come to the CBD.
"We don't see Xhosa centres. We have churches for Christians, synagogues and mosques. In planning this festival we looked at who is not represented, who is absent from the city," he said.
Charles Cooper, spokesman for the City of Cape Town, said the permission for the ritual slaughter was still pending.