Five years ago the World Summit on Sustainable Development was held in this country but it did not come out with any tangible solutions because delegates were not ready to embrace and promote African culture as part of their
envisaged sustainable development. Its advancement is not sustainable under the present situation. These are the opinions of traditionalists in Bushbuckridge (Mpumalanga Province) who have come out strongly against the moral decaying of society that they swear is largely caused by Western countries disregarding of African culture and traditions.
An advocate against genetically modified foods and traditional healer Dr Ranios Mashego is of the opinion that Western countries used summits like the WSSD to sell their plan to create a larger dependence on them for survival at the expense of black culture which he believes has answers to any mishap, medical or social that is troubling the world today. "Genetically modified foods lower the immune system and render humans susceptible to diseases. They can only be compared to unleaded petrol. They kill blood components and leave humans weakened" he told Kasiekulture.
Mashego goes further to allege that in 1959, as a way of getting rid of black culture and related indigenous knowledge systems, cow immunisation was introduced and as a result foot and mouth disease destroyed most stock, resulting in many black males migrating to the cities to get employment. Thus their culture was allowed time to die a natural death.
His comments could not be divorced from what the South African Civil Society major groups in the Civil Society Forum gathered at Devonshire Hotel in 2001 raised in the Declaration for Bali that, "we call for the implementation of the precautionary principle and a moratorium on the use of genetically modified organisms".
He argues that what is happening with Western countries claiming that Southern Africa’s hunger problem will only be addressed through provision of the same disputed GM foods insults the proud history of African people who have always been able to provide for themselves with nutritionally rich foods that did not expose them to diseases. "They started by introducing Sir Seretse Khama as an example of a civilised African male who knew how to merge the two cultures and make them one. The next thing we knew there is HIV/AIDS and other related ailments which we used to know and treat in our Indigenous Knowledge Systems but which they now say can not be treated by indigenous knowledge. I still say that it will only take a renaissance embracing our rich cultural heritage, which has answers to all questions to find our way out" Mashego argued.
His sentiments against the risk of merging African and Western Culture are echoed by another traditionalist, Mr Moses Chilwane (79) who disputes Sir Khama's example. "That was a serious breach of our culture because in African culture before a bride is accepted into a family there are rituals which must be followed. And for all I know the African ancestors will not accept somebody with straight hair within their fold. In other words there is no way a white bride can become a part of any culturally conscious African family", he protested
He added that on conditions that such a situation happens, then another wife should be married who will be accepted by everyone, thus introducing polygamy, which most whites women might not tolerate.
Also mentioned as a bad omen to cultural development, Mashego said, were the modern forms of female contraception, the famous depo-provera. "They castrate the blood and degrade bile acid, which results in bad digestion and low immune system and a people on the verge of extinction" he reasons. To him and other traditionalist these are the issues that needed addressing at the WSSD.
He also says that cooking oil is another mechanism used by western countries to limit population growth so that their globalisation drive could go on unopposed. Mashego, caused a stir on what was SAFm's Tim Modise Show in 2001 when he claimed that he had a cure for AIDS and that he had cured some patients. He has been in liaison with authorities on most of his claims, including the Office of the President, national departments and independent laboratories. "I mention again in this report that the cure lies in boosting the blood system of the affected person. I mention in the report that I have cured many patients and as a proof I am willing to cure any number of patients you might bring to me" he wrote to President Thabo Mbeki. All he says he asked was to be given the opportunity to address the Durban AIDS Conference in 1999 but since his methods were presumed to be unorthodox he could not be allowed.
He wishes world leaders could listen to him and other traditionalists, since according to him African culture is so rich it has solutions to all the problems that the 60 thousand plus delegates who were here in 2002 were trying to find strategies to.
Kasiekulture wonders how accurate the two men are in their analysis, given that the the Millenium Development Goals adopted at the Summit, like the reduction of Greenhouse gases and eradication of poverty by 2012 seem to have moved the posts.

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