Brides cautiously finding their way past the six oak trees with a sentinel-like vantage of the mall declining towards the Foreshore.
Mourners processing to the hearse parked on the pavement.
Royalty such as Queen Elizabeth and that prince among men, Nelson Mandela. Rock stars and the unknown multitude seeking some respite from the rigour of life.
On Sunday I stood, as deans before me had done, at those familiar steps, waiting on the then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to exit from the black vehicle parked nearby.
A bodyguard stood to my left, facing the cathedral.
I wondered if he was left-handed and if he was the nervy-type. In the rush of things, I might find myself in the line of fire. I took a slight step back and to my right. Just in case.
The flash of cameras. The curious crowd. It could have been a scene from an as yet unfilmed movie entitled On a Sunday Morning.
The political context of the day would be illustrated by then President Jacob Zuma's aggrieved proclamation in a live interview on SABC in the week, “Why must I be persuaded to resign, have I done anything wrong? And of course, the officials couldn't provide what I have done.”
Perhaps Msholozi on Sunday evening, in anticipation of Valentine's Day, had been listening to Clari’s Favourites because I could hear Earth, Wind & Fire’s Reasons stirring the emotions. The details of 783 corruption charges scrolled across the TV screen in the theatre of my mind.
Jules Winnfield, the character played by Samuel L Jackson in Pulp Fiction came to mind.
His reworked proclamation of Ezekiel 25 verse 17 speaks to these times where the world of the righteous “is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men”.
The cinematic prophet Winnfield, his dark, wrath-presiding eyes below a jheri-curled wig, remixed parts of Ezekiel 34 with its reference to the tyranny of the unjust shepherd: “Must my flock feed on what you have trampled and drink what you have muddied with your feet?”
Ramaphosa stepped out of the car. He looked like one who sleeps with a clear conscience. It never occurred to me to whisper, should he cast his eyes to the heavens and inquire about the state of the cathedral roof: “We only need R10 million to complete the renovation.”
As the clean-up man in waiting and the prophet of a “New Deal”, Ramaphosa would not be aloof to the poetics of contributing to the completion of the cathedral’s roof renovation project. As a devotee of the God of surprises, I am preparing the Deanery backyard for the arrival of a buffalo or two.
And judging by the morning company he keeps on the promenade, namely Trevor Manuel, his fellow Buffalo Soldier from the days when only apartheid divided us, I should look at constituting an alumni association of Friends of the People’s Cathedral.
It is good to be mindful of what Chris Rock once said, borne out by what the DA showed us this week, “Men are only as faithful as their options”.
Rock was referring to sexual fidelity, but his colloquial dictum easily extends to other areas of life, especially the political.
It is one thing to call for a secret ballot when you are in the ranks of the opposition and then to require the contrary when you seek to recall your mayor.
But, let’s not judge here because decisions are context nuanced and our tactics, understandably, will be tempered by the opportunities presented by power.
The abusive, exploitative capacity of government and the syndicated evil that feasts on the bounty intended for all the people of the land, is best thwarted by servant leadership.
President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa will have brought a smile to the face of God and Madiba and all who love us, when he committed to be a servant of the people.
All the people of our land.
* The Very Rev Michael Weeder is the Dean of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.