Live: Madiba by the graveside

The president and some clergy have now repeatedly asked us to all pray for Madiba. What is less clear is what those prayers are supposed to contain – a request perhaps that he should live longer? That he should be spared further suffering and die now? That his soul should go to heaven? All this praying for a person who has displayed scant propensity towards prayer himself comes across as rather misplaced, until one remembers that sickness and death are the compost of religion. It therefore does not matter if the prayee is religious himself; the illness and death of an icon is an opportunity to parade religion.

There are the political parties vying for a slice of the pie. There are the news media setting up around the hospital, Mandela residences and cemeteries. Reportedly some cleaning up of the cemetery at Qunu has been underway, but no grave digging yet; he could, after all, recover, which would have implications.

Comments on Mandela’s health are also sacred – only the presidency can issue authoritative reports. According to this source, his condition has changed from “serious but stable” to “critical but stable”.

Every step of the way we encounter no shortage of candidates eager to run the show for a few minutes of limelight. And then, of course there’s still the will, the inheritance, the legacy…

Like! A lot.

Politics and religion have always been very cosy and likeminded bedfellows. It is therefore apparently not possible to wish an ailing elder statesman well without either petitioning an imaginary skyfairy to actualise such benedictions, or rousing a veritable horde of opportunistic sycophants.


Thanks. :-*

As I said before, when the old man goes, I am spending two weeks media-free. It will be a worse circus than when Princess Diana died.

Anyway, looks like it may take a while. He’s on life support now. He could be brain dead, and the machines could still keep his body going for another decade or two. I think he is going to be politically too valuable to pull the plug at least until after the election.

@ Tweefo:

I see that you had made a posting in shoutbox on this topic prior to mine. My apology, I did not intend to snub you - just missed it.

Mandela on life support according to some reports. How long can they keep one on that? Who decide to pull the plug in this case?

I have a conspiracy theory that the family is trying to keep him alive till he hits 95 so they can cash in on memorabilia.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least. A year or two ago, there was a minor scandal when one of his grandchildren sold tickets to his funeral. And apparently different factions of the family are already involved in endless battles over the inheritance.

It all leaves a bad taste in the mouth, which is why, when he is finally allowed by his family and doctors to pass on, I will make no further comments, write no eulogies, avoid TV programs about the issue, and try not to read any media reports about it.

No, no, they have to keep him alive to avoid these loons from herding everyone else down the loony bin’s plughole!


true story: the Xhosa lady house assistant in East London tells the family (of my future daughter in law) “when Mandela dies it’ll be our chance to kill you whites”. Are these grounds to discipline her? (wtf!!)

What for - voicing her opinion?

Our equally Xhosa housekeeper assures me it’s all nonsense, so not too worried myself. But then again, she does most of the the disciplining in this deurmekaar household of ours, and a quick death is somehow preferable.


she does most of the the disciplining

Somehow this doesn’t sound quite as kinky as the european version of the story would be.

I’m sure Madam is peeved.

But one has to wonder why they are waiting for Madiba to die. It’s not like he’ll be able to stop them if they started right away.

The moment I hit “Post” I already regretted it! :wink:

[Letter-of-the-law mode]If she said “kill you whites”, you can actually have her up on assault charges. If you can also produce independent evidence (witness testimony or a recording), your charges will very probably stick. “Assault” need not entail actual physical violence (that’s called “battery”); a credible threat of harm to one’s wellbeing suffices for it to qualify as assault. There are also provisions in the Labour Relations Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act that cover employee misconduct of this kind.[/Letter-of-the-law mode]

Maybe you should remind her that she’s treading on thin ice, legally speaking. If you’ve had trouble with her before, perhaps you should issue a formal warning (if you do, keep a careful record and have her sign an acknowledgement). I know it’ll make things unpleasant for a while but you need to weigh up your priorities in this regard: being intimidated/bullied vs. maintaining an appropriate employer/employee relationship.


Rigil, I was being ironic :wink:
Quite frankly Mefiante, these stories often get told for melodramatic effect so I take them with a pinch of salt…it’s much like the boerestaat stories of the night of the long knives.
However, it may pay to be somewhat wary of the lunatic fringe …

Okay, but I got the impression that you had posted a serious and fact-based question to which I gave an equally serious and fact-based answer. It’s hard to tell sometimes… :smiley:


In this wonderful country, unfortunately, the fringe is the whole hairstyle.

Should be on a t-shirt! ;D ;D

You hit the nail on the head! It is really painful reading the news about Madiba with all the praying going on. It would be way more beneficial for everyone to get off their knees and do something good for someone less fortunate than them instead…