President Jacob Zuma in South Africa delivered an apology on Friday. Listen to it on you tube. He actually did it. But it came too late. Today I learned, in IOL, that the South African Council of Churches rejects his apology. Is that possible? Isn’t the church obliged to convey God’s forgiveness to those who repent? The questions is of course:
Does the president repent?
According to News24 and the ANC chief whip Jackson Mthembu, the apology of the President comes from his heart. Mthembu said that ...
... the fact that Zuma stood in front of the nation and said he could have done better showed remorse.
We can also learn that the President ...
… unreservedly accepted the Constitutional Court's judgment.
Well, it took a long time to come to this point. In my understanding the President has been offered many opportunities to do what he is doing now. When News24 states that he
… said he had not deliberately violated the Constitution and never meant any disrespect to Madonsela's office …
I am not convinced.
The Constitutional Court, according to the Guardian, ruled that the president had failed to uphold the constitution. But the Presidency, according to the Mail and Guardian, disagrees. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
One of the ANC stalwarts that was imprisoned with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, Achmed Kathadra, has spoken out strongly against Zuma. I guess this has also played its part.
In all this I am happy that the SACC finds its feet again. This has also taken a rather long time. It will be crucial how the council manages to keep its integrity throughout this period. After the dawn of democracy in South Africa, the Council has struggled to find its new role. In a statement from 16 December 2015 this is clear. The SACC and the President met on the evening of the Reconciliation Day and they could not reach any agreement with the President about his reshuffling of ministers in the cabinet.
They met on the eve of Reconciliation day. They did not agree. Now the SACC rejects the apology of the President. Reconciliation is a process and it is still on going. And it is not easy.
Already last year Archbishop emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu warned the ANC government for this. Listen to him on this you tube clip.