Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Night of the Dead

Okay now this is a sore point for me. I think I am a moderate person, and I tolerate different peoples, cultures, and beliefs but last night, well it was too much. Lets call it the Night of the Dead, as I am dead tired writing this but it needs to be told. Let me start from the beginning. A neighbour who is a South African Police member approached me about 6pm with whom I believe was a family member and 2 other men.

The neighbour wanted access into the kloof or gorge through the gate at the end of our road for the 3 men who wanted to collect holy water. The gate is locked due to security reasons, so I directed them to a public entrance a few kilometres away but they weren’t happy using that entrance due to it being unsafe for their car which was a black VW Polo. Understandable as Polos are targeted by criminals but they wanted to park on my property. It was getting dark and because it was my neighbour asking I gave the go ahead, it was only for a few hours while they hike down into the kloof and back. I expected them back by latest 8pm. Yes I was concerned and I voiced my concern that walking at night in the veldt with its dangerous cliffs was not the wisest thing to do. But they were adamant.

I had Connect Group meeting yesterday evening, so I asked my tenant if she could open the gate when they returned. But when I got back from Connect at about 10 o’ clock and the 3 men were not back from fetching holy water, I started to get worried, so I phoned my neighbour who was on duty. At first he thought I was joking, but I was serious, he rushed over from work. Once here, he tried to phone his family member but no answer; he then called the wife to get the cell numbers of the other 2 men. When the wife heard that the men had not returned, she started crying over the phone. Cellphone reception is virtually non-existent deep in the kloof. So with the police lights flashing at the end of my road, my neighbour and I went into the veldt and hiked to the edge of the kloof overlooking the closest holy water sources to my home. We shined our touches down into the gaping chasm, my neighbour called out to them, but no answer. It seemed dead below us.

It was way too dangerous to go down further into the kloof in the dark, so our only bet was to wait till first light and if they still had not returned, then our option was to bring out the dogs and form a search party. I remember saying to my neighbour, that either they lied to us and planned to sleep over night in the kloof or they got hurt somehow.

My neighbour then drove over to the public entrance and found some Zionist Christian Church (ZCC) religious pilgrims hanging about there, at this time of night? After questioning them, it was discovered that a ZCC ceremony is being held in deep the kloof near the holy waters and is planned to end at midnight. I was very upset when I heard this because this meant they lied to us big time.

I showered and called it a night. While trying to find sleep, I remembered that tonight is the eve of All Saints, or Halloween as it is called in the Western world. Oh dear, this is now serious. A secret religious ceremony is being held in the kloof on the Night of the Dead.

Now I know that the ZCC mixes the Christian beliefs with African traditions such as ancestor worship. The ZCC stem from the Apostolic Faith Mission and I never thought that the Catholicism beliefs of honouring the dead saints especially today, All Saints Day, would be celebrated by them in the form of ancestor worship in the dead of the night, excuse my pun.

The 3 men finally emerged from the kloof about 02:30am in the morning. Talk about the dead rising from the hole in the ground, I was not a happy chappy but remained cool and collective, well as best I could in the wee hours of the morning.

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