Kyenge invites Calderoli to make Congo pilgrimage

'He may return a changed man' says MEP

(ANSA) - Rimini, August 28 - Cecile Kyenge, an Italian member of the European Parliament, on Thursday invited Deputy Senate Speaker Roberto Calderoli of the anti-immigrant Northern League to make a pilgrimage to the Congolese village where he claims her father placed a hex on him.
    "He may return a changed man," said Kyenge, who served as Italy's first black cabinet minister under the left-right government of Enrico Letta until Premier Matteo Renzi ousted his Democratic Party (PD) colleague in February. Her comments came after Calderoli, a former minister for reforms and simplification under ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi, told weekly magazine Oggi that he needed an exorcist to lift the 'macumba' allegedly placed on him in Kyenge's native village in Democratic Republic of Congo. Calderoli is facing criminal charges of defamation aggravated by racial hatred and discrimination against Kyenge, a medical doctor and PD MEP after he likened her to an orangutan last year.
    Since then, he has undergone six operations, been twice in intensive care, broken two ribs and two fingers, and his mother died, according to the interview.
    The run of apparent bad luck culminated with the discovery of a two-meter snake in his kitchen last week.
    "Maybe it's time to send Kyenge's dad a message of detente," Calderoli told the magazine.
    "It seems to me that I am still being persecuted," replied Kyenge at the time.
   

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