On the call for a national cleansing

Graham McIntosh writes on the deep rooted cultural beliefs that underlie this proposal

Thoughts on the call for a national cleansing

10 July 2023

We are all distressed by the state of our country.  Christians call for repentance and organise gatherings for prayer. The country we love is not going well so, understandably,  we feel helpless and try to explain it rationally or supernaturally. From our black community their deep concern is seen in the widespread calls for “cleansing” to take place.  This call should be understood and taken seriously, not summarily dismissed, because the majority of South Africans would support and understand the motivation behind it. 

Cleansing in African societies is related not only to deaths or a death that have not been properly addressed with appropriate rituals but also to misfortune generally. South Africa has deaths and murders running into tens of thousands that have not seen any closure from appropriate rituals, so not unlike the importance that devout Catholics place on receiving the last rites. One of the calls for cleansing for South Africa has even been linked to deaths during the Anglo-Boer War.  

The killers of Babita Deokoran felt the need to be cleansed after they had murdered her.  The SAPS knew where in Msinga the assassins were from and knew they would go home to go through that traditional cleansing ceremony to prevent the spirit of Babita Deokoran haunting them, so they cleverly went and arrested them in their own district. 

After the Battle of Isandlwana it was a shock to Victorian Britain to learn that the bodies of soldiers killed in that Battle had been mutilated. The stomachs were sliced open. The Zulu impis firmly believed that if they did not release the “spirit” of the soldier in that way, then that soldier’s spirit would come to haunt them. Of course, when the Impis returned to Ondini to celebrate their victory before the King Cetshwayo, there were elaborate cleansing ceremonies.

Cleansing can also relate to general misfortune in one’s personal life or family or career or business and the state of our country.  Misfortune is caused by somebody so spells and curses from witches and nyangas using muti, could also require a national cleansing.    

ANC MEC’s in KZN will want their offices “cleansed” before they will occupy them. They fear that dangerous muti has been left behind to bring them misfortune. They, as Jacob Zuma fervently does, believe that an enemy can use spells and muti to cause them harm. At Marikana the AMCU miners (most of them were from the Eastern Cape) paid a nyanga (since murdered) from Pondoland to do rituals to protect them from bullets and harm.   

In Limpopo and elsewhere, there are regular reports of individuals killed because they are believed to be witches. The many “Muti murders” for human body parts are part of this deeply embedded culture. The rituals to deal with the malevolent spirits, and around a death that has not been “cleansed”, will haunt us who are still living. The great majority of our people identify with the call for a general “cleansing” for South Africa.

South Africans and people in general, will often suggest conspiracies by vested interests as the cause for problems. It is political paranoia. That too needs to be cleansed.

An example of political paranoia was on 4 July 2023 when Mr Jimmy Manyi MP (EFF), who is well known in our public life, very experienced in government, and the spokesman for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, declared that “the so-called natural disasters in KZN are manufactured”.  In his paranoia he sees a conspiracy by the DA of the Western Cape to cause the devastating tornado storms in KZN. 

A commentator wrote. “Although Manyi’s conspiracy theory lacks any substantiated evidence, it has nonetheless ignited a debate about the responsibilities and ethics of public figures in spreading baseless claims.  Concerns have been raised over the potential harm caused by such statements, as they can undermine trust in scientific knowledge and divert attention from real challenges faced by affected communities.”  For many, including the Jacob Zuma Foundation, these are not ‘baseless claims’.  They believe them. This is further reason for a “cleansing” for South Africa.

Over the centuries, the Freemasons, the Jesuits, World Money Power, the Bilderberger group, the Illuminati, Zionist Jews have been identified and castigated as the powerful hidden hands that pull the strings of history. It is a form of political paranoia. Jimmy Manyi has now added another suspect in the form of the DA, to that list.   

Nobody has suggested how and where and in what way a National Cleansing can occur and if it is even necessary. Others have the view that the best way to do a cleansing for South Africa is to vote the Tripartite Alliance of the SACP/ANC/COSATU out of power.

Graham McIntosh