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Shower with a friend ...

30 December 2012, 10:08

It isn't called the "silly season" for nothing. Our president opened his mouth and spoke. Unscripted! A Capella! Impromptu! Off the cuff! Twice! Although his calls for a national cleansing ceremony were largely overshadowed by his comments about dogs (my God, what ARE we going to tell the dogs about Zuma), it is probably the cleansing ceremony that gives away much of the real workings of the head-lemming who is to lead us into the abyss over the next decade. 

Let me state off the bat - I am a spiritual being. I have great respect for any manner in which any of my fellow human beings express their spiritual component. No problems there. However, so often and in so many faiths, spirituality is deftly used to avoid consequences. Or at least attempts to do so.

According the the Sex And Booze Club’s news bulletins, Zuma said the ritual would be of great importance in the light of incidents such as the Marikana tragedy, the rape of elderly women, and political assassinations. He said people who were not cleansed, harboured grudges. We’re still on the same page here. I agree. A spirit of forgiveness is important. A reaffirmed sense of morality is critical. A spiritual approach would help. 

However, a cleansing ceremony will not (as seems to be his hope) make these things go away. Seeking to find the facts and bring the guilty to justice does not constitute harbouring a grudge. It is a constitutionally protected process that is designed to bring a degree of fairness and order to society.

Cleansing, in his use of the word (I cannot help to think this is a gross and infantile oversimplification - much like showering after sex with an HIV-positive partner), is not the result of a religious ceremony. It is the result of hard personal work, deep introspection and a very personal “coming-to-terms”.

Although a continual spiritual experience during the process is certainly valuable, a great many other factors also play a part. Not least of which, a sense that justice will prevail. A feeling that the system will take care of the nitty-gritty whilst I take care of the big stuff inside myself. So, Mr Zuma, perhaps try the cart on the other side of the horses.

Stop undermining the systems that would actually help to create an environment in which South Africans will find the forgiveness and “cleansing” process easier. And stop trying to be a spiritual father of sorts. You are not qualified; not intellectually, not philosophically and certainly not morally.

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