An Italian politician who got himself into hot water for a blatantly racist comment about a black government minister, saying she looks like an orangutan, now says that the minister’s father in Africa put a curse on him and he need the pope to send him an exorcist to get rid of the evil spirits who are tormenting him.
Roberto Calderoli, a former minister with the anti-immigration Northern League party, caused outrage last year when he said Cecile Kyenge, Italy’s first black minister, reminded him of an orang-utan. He is now facing prosecution for his remarks.
But he revived the row this month by claiming that Ms Kyenge’s father, who lives in the Republic of Congo, had placed a curse on him.“I don’t know if I should put an advert in the paper or call (Pope Francis) directly,” he tweeted, “but I must absolutely find an exorcist.”
At a ceremony last year attended by Miss Kyenge’s father, Clement Kikoko Kyenge, in his home village, a prayer was said in which God was asked to free Mr Calderoli from evil thoughts. A photo of Mr Calderoli was then placed before an altar dedicated to the ancestors of the village, and the same request made.
But this month Mr Calderoli said a series of misfortunes he has incurred since then – including six hospital operations, the death of his mother, two broken fingers and two broken veterbrae – proved he had actually been cursed by Mr Kyenge.
Sounds totally legit.