Sangomas bless youth march

2011-10-27 11:03

About 30 traditional healers performed a ritual at the Beyers Naude Square in Johannesburg, where ANC Youth League members gathered today for a mass march.

They sat on a traditional carpet, beating drums and drinking umqombothi (traditional beer) from a calabash, while talking to the ancestors.

The healers pleaded with the ancestors to make the “economic freedom” march a success and for government to listen to the youth’s grievances.

Alisa Makama (68) said she was happy that the Traditional Healers Association of SA received an invitation to the march, which she strongly supported.

“This gives us a platform to change people’s views about us. Hopefully people will stop criticising us and calling us witches,” she said.

She arrived in the morning all the way from Katlehong, east of Johannesburg.

Makama was supported by 53-year-old Regina Sithole who said she hoped the government would help traditional healers financially.

“I wish the government can also help us financially, so that we expand our businesses of healing the people,” said Sithole.

The two women said while they would not be marching with youth league members due to the health concerns, they fully supported the march.

Supporters from various provinces were expected to march from Beyers Naude Square to the Chamber of Mines in Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Sandton – and then to Pretoria where a night vigil is to be held prior to a march on the Union Buildings tomorrow.

The march was delayed today due to transport problems.

The league issued a statement saying the march would only start at noon.

“Thousands of our people were not yet picked up by taxis all over the country, particularly in Gauteng,” said league spokesperson Floyd Shivambu.

“The challenge of transport delays is being resolved and people are on their way to Beyers Naude Square,” he said.

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