ANC centenary ritual slaughter begins
Bloemfontein - The sounds of drums and chants filled the air outside the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein on Saturday morning in expectation of the ritual sacrifice of a bull by President Jacob Zuma.
The sacrifice forms part of a cleansing ceremony for the ANC centenary celebrations, and is done in order to invoke the spirits of the traditional ancestors so they could oversee the events.
Attending the ceremony were Traditional Affairs Minister Richard Baloyi, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and African-American civil rights activist Jesse Jackson.
"We must recognise that the ANC and the people of South Africa have won a great victory. They have overcome the great oppression of apartheid, though it must be said that economic and agricultural apartheid still exist," Jackson said.
"The USA and South Africa both ended apartheid together, and both now have African presidents."
Earlier, workers and traditional leaders worked together to lead a bull into a makeshift kraal, before tying it to a tree. Zuma will reportedly slay the animal with a spear.
Mantashe said the ceremony allowed members and traditional leaders to enjoy the festivities as they wanted to.
"Traditionally the act of slaughtering has different meanings. All nations have a way of celebration through slaughter... it is all the same but in different circumstances." Traditional and religious leaders opened the cleansing ceremony outside the church on Friday evening.
The inter-faith service, which contained messages and blessings from representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Rastafarian and traditional African faiths was held at a marquee outside the church where the ANC was formed in 1912.
Attending that service was Mantashe, ANC chief whip Mathole Motsheka, ANC chairperson Baleka Mbete, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Noluthando Mapisa-Nqakula and Congress of Traditional Leaders of SA president Phathelike Holomisa.