Zuma revisits his roots

2007-12-13 00:00

Jacob Zuma took time off from campaigning to participate in a day-long traditional ceremony at his ancestral homestead in Impendle yesterday.

A media contingent on the Zuma campaign trail, including a German television crew, saw the event as intended to help Zuma win the African National Congress presidential election in Polokwane this weekend.

But his nephew, Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma, said: “This function has nothing to do with the ANC, but everything to do with cleansing the Nxamalala clan.”

He added that a traditional healer had instructed him to conduct the ceremony to cleanse the clan of its bad luck. “So we would appreciate it if the media can stay away, and allow the Zuma family and its people to carry out our private function,” the inkosi said.

The ceremony, on the banks of a local river, took four hours. It was conducted by a traditional healer, Gonondo, from kwaNyuswa. Jacob and Simphiwe Zuma and a crowd of local people watched the proceedings. Three cows were slaughtered. Amabutho (young warriors) sang traditional songs and women ululated. About 50 virgins took turns to wash their hands in the blood of one of the slaughtered bulls

Family members said Zuma was supposed to attend a prayer meeting at his Nkandla homestead yesterday evening to wish him good luck in Polokwane.

The ANC deputy president was also expected to meet King Goodwill Zwelithini at Enyokeni Royal Palace in KwaNongoma yesterday to receive his blessings.

Today Zuma is expected to attend a meeting at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall to pray for the success of the ANC conference. The service, due to start at 10 am, is organised by the KZN Christian Council and the SA National Civic Organisation.

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