Leaders of churches representing the majority of Christians in the Nelson Mandela Metro have come out strongly against corruption ahead of the May 7 national election.
“We note that much has been done in the past 20 years to address the needs of our people, but that which was done that is good has been overwhelmed by the tsunami of systemic corruption and maladministration which is robbing our people of their future and their dignity.
“We give notice of our intent to not only become more assertive as the church, but to encourage other sectors of society to take up their rightful place,” say the leaders in a statement which is being distributed through churches in the Metro.
“We are not interested in a power struggle with political leaders but we cannot give politicians the freedom that they have had in recent years.
“We support the idea that our people have the power to change their situation through the ballot box. The balance of power given by the majority needs to move leaders towards serving the people instead of ruling the people. We will discourage our people from supporting a corrupt system,” the statement adds.
“Just as in the past we engaged apartheid, it is a struggle against the abuse of power by those who have been elected to lead. More specifically, it is a struggle against corruption, maladministration and incompetence that contributes to lack of service delivery, education, health and unemployment,” says the statement.
It is signed by Bishop Lunga ka Siboto: Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church; Bishop Bethlehem Nopece: Bishop of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; Bishop Musi Losaba: Bishop of the Grahamstown District of the Methodist Church of South Africa; Pastor Neville Goldman: Senior Pastor Ebenezer Centre, National Leader of the Apostolic Team Assemblies of God Association South Africa; Reverend Danie Mouton: Executive Director: DRC Eastern Cape; Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry: Regional Leader of AFM Church in Eastern Cape; Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom: Secretary of Metro Council of Churches and Convenor of Nelson Mandela Bay Consultation of Christian Churches (NMBCCC); and Pastor Mvusi Gwam: Chairperson of Transformation Christian Network.
They urge other sectors of society to once again speak out against injustice: “We regret the relative silence of civil society, business and other important role players who are not taking co-responsibility for the common good. It is most unfortunate that there is a tendency in our society to accept domination / subordination and or to adopt a comfortably-withdrawn position that gives government and politicians’ carte blanche.
“We intend becoming more assertive as a stakeholder in this city and we believe that systemic, coherent and well-informed action by all non-political agencies of society will be in the interest of all. Thus, we will seek and promote constructive partnerships towards joint action for a better society”.
All Christian denominations in the Metro are being “mobilized into a force that could make a real difference in the quality of life of people. Our action will be organized within the Ward system, and we will work with communities and their leaders to identify the real issues and to enable appropriate action.
“We as a church will keep governance of our city accountable to the Integrated Development Plan, the Budget and measure the deliverables accordingly. Our key objective is accountability.
“We have already started our action by enhancing our knowledge and those of our communities with good quality information to improve insight, awareness and the quality of the collective conscience of our communities to become more resilient, pro-active and self-reliant.
“We will actively work towards strategies and plans to promote socio-economic development at a community level throughout our Metro,” say the Church Leaders.
Media release for Church Leaders in Nelson Mandela Bay
By: Siyathetha Communications:
For more information contact:
Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leaders Task team chairperson Pastor Neville Goldman: Senior Pastor Ebenezer Centre, National Leader of the Apostolic Team Assemblies of God Association South Africa
Siyathetha: Ed Richardson: 041 582 3750/0836569757