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Victims of tradition

By unknown | Jun 12, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Witchcraft plays a sinister role in the traditional beliefs of our society.

Witchcraft plays a sinister role in the traditional beliefs of our society.

But something has gone horribly wrong when police must save a 70-year-old granny suspected of being a witch from a mob baying for her blood.

The victims of this bloodlust are almost always elderly. And almost always their only crime is that they are different from their neighbours: infirm maybe, sharp-tongued possibly, or merely richer or poorer than their peers.

But this is the 21st century and our Constitution allows us to indulge our idiosyncracies without living in fear of jealous gossips plotting our demise.

A traditional court in eMondolo, northern KwaZulu-Natal, yesterday heard the case of the 70-year-old granny rescued on Monday. She was charged with witchcraft.

Thankfully, common sense prevailed and her life has been spared. How can we still be hauling our elderly grandparents to hearings on such charges?

The fear of otherness is so deeply ingrained in our society that demagogues and provocateurs easily convert it to their own, often criminal, ends.

Remember the recent spate of xenophobic attacks?

Our marvellous Constitution means nothing if each and every one of us doesn't start living the tolerance it so fervently preaches.


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