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Special Report
Transcripts for Section 3 of Episode 70

TimeSummary
46:40was supposed to bring an end to the violent political conflict that ripped our nation apart. He did, but not in KwaZulu-Natal. Even in the past week, there were political killings in the Richmond area. Traditions and rituals play a big role in this kind of conflict. Like the use by young fighters of a substance called Intelezi.Full Transcript
47:06‘Intelezi’ is a Zulu word which defines a substance smeared by warriors on their bodies before they go into battle. It has been a custom of the African people long before King Shaka’s time. It can only be given out by inyangas [herbalists] and is associated with power. Some people call it muti and some regard it as an essential protection for their homes.Full Transcript
47:32Alone you are very, very weak against the elements of nature, that’s why we have different types of clothing; and even besides that we know that emotionally, spiritually we are very, very weak. We have all sorts of fears and we know how limited our physical capacities are, our mental capacities are. So we appeal for extra cover, extra strength. And then we use different types of elements, we engage in different types of rituals as a source of this extra strength. So, Intelezi should be seen in that context. But every culture has its Intelezi.Full Transcript
48:23Well as we have said, it is a medicinal help. This thing really works, because the people who believe in all these things become the victim of them. Without them they cannot do anything. With them can do anything. As you know there was war here in Richmond, there’s a lot that I experienced and I’ve written a book about the violence here in Richmond. There were times where the people from this side were not keen to fight or to defend their area, they’ll always tell their parents that their parents need to buy Intelezi for them. So at the end of the day these Intelezi and something of that sort has a psychological effect in the minds of the people who are involved in war. // It is their belief. So you know, when this violence started the boys from the other area of Makotha, whenever the IFP was approaching with the whistle, blowing the whistle, they would run for their lives. When they come here next to my house, running past it I’d ask them why are you running. They’d say ...moreFull Transcript
50:00For Professor Jabulani Maphalala of Zululand University in Empangeni who sees himself as an African traditionalist, the issue of Intelezi is about African roots and ethnicity.Full Transcript
50:19Intelezi go far beyond Shaka, because Intelezi is connected with the Nile valley civilization. As you know that all the Africans originated from the Nile valley and that is where, of course, civilization started. Therefore, Africans are culturally united, that has been established, in a book by … the black African cultural unity, he says that. The book was established as early as 1987. Therefore Intelezi is associated with this because civilization started here, medicine started in the Nile valley. [Inaudible] was the father of medicine and therefore the idea of medicine also started in Africa. The calendar, art of writing, philosophy and what have you, all of it started in Africa. Therefore, when we speak about Intelezi we must know that we are not talking about something which started in KwaZulu or in Lesotho or in Swaziland; it’s just an African thing. We could cure ourselves of any type of element, but at the same time also, coming to Intelezi now, Intelezi would be grown in ...moreFull Transcript
53:06In war there are two aspects that are involved, if not three. One is the physical involvement where people are stabbing or shooting one another. Secondly is the question of the moral or spiritual involvement where your heart or your spirit will tell you that you’ve got to do this. So the trend that seems to be taking place here in trying to solve the conflicts is only to focus on the physical confrontation as such where a man is taking something and stabbing someone. That is really what seems to be happening. I say we need to go beyond that. We need to involve religious people who”ll be dealing with the moral aspect of the people. People who will conscientise the people as how bad it is to kill one another. Secondly we have to attend to the question of these muti’s that they are using when they are fighting, because it”s just really a package. You can”t just deal with a certain element within the package and leave the rest out.Full Transcript
54:06 It”s not a superstition or something. There are certain forces that we believe in as Africans. These forces operate with you as a person; operate with some kind of mixtures with herbs, sometimes some part of an animal. And these powers of course evoke a power that you have in yourself. Each one has this power. It is in itself neutral, this power. That means that it is dormant. It is very powerful, it is very potent. But you can use this power for good or for evil, depends on how you organise it.Full Transcript
54:56A lot of these rituals were also I think based on quite a deep insight into human psychology so that you had rituals that were meant to empower the individual and give the individual boldness and courage to do extraordinary events. But you also had rituals that people realized were necessary in order to demotivate people from actually committing horrendous acts. For example it was known that if you had killed someone, a ritual will be performed to get that desire to kill – because it was assumed that you must have been possessed by something that is inhuman, that is not really needed, wanted in normal life – so there will be a ritual to get that out of you. Full Transcript
55:57But Intelezi is associated with belligerence, an attitude not contributing to peace and reconciliation in KwaZulu-Natal.Full Transcript
 
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