“We are going to untie the sheep and walk it to the ocean to waken Nxele’s spirit. Nxele’s spirit is along this ocean. Down with white racists, down,” he shouted.
Maxwele was referring to the Xhosa warrior Makhanda, who died on Christmas Day in 1819. During the Xhosa Wars he instigated an attack against the British garrison at Grahamstown.
Maxwele then cut the sheep’s throat as other protesters burnt incense. He declared: “Today, the dignity of the black people has been restored. This is an offering to our ancestors. The sheep will be slaughtered here and eaten here.”
An animal rights activist started shouting at one of the protesters, allegedly telling him “the only thing you know is to kill”. She was hit on the chest with a sandal by a protester and foul language filled the air.