Saturday, 10 June 2017

The SACC questions the legitimacy of the Government in SA

It gives me hope that the South African Council of Churches meet for their triennial conference. A number of years ago many people thought that the Council had died. And it really experienced difficult times. Financially and administratively. Three years ago a successful attempt managed to save the organization. New leadership were elected and since then the council has functioned. Whether it has functioned well I cannot really judge. But from time to time I have seen statements and understood that the prophetic voice is still there.

Archbishop emeritus, Anders Wejryd, from Church of Sweden, was invited to the meeting and his address is available on the website of the World Council of Churches. He stressed the importance of the South African Constitution. I agree with him. South Africa has a strong constitution and some independent institutions with integrity. The Public Protector and the Constitutional Court, to mention a few. In between the lines he also gave support to the SACC in its difficult task to be a prophetic voice:
Now, when you are discerning the present situation in your land and your responsibilities as servants of the people living in your land and as servants of the Lord, you shall know that the ecumenical movement is with you.
The President of the SACC, Bishop Ziphozihle D Siwa, was more outspoken about the situation. He spoke about gross organized and rampant corruption. And it was equally clear that the government is the addressee. It seems to me that the SACC – again – question the legitimacy of the present government.
Section 41 of the Constitution in Chapter 3 on the Principles of Co-Operative Government and Intergovernmental Relations. Three Subsections of Section 41 (1) says that all organs of State must:(b) Secure the well-being of the people of the Republic(c) Provide effective, transparent, accountable and coherent government for the Republic as a whole; (d) Be loyal to the Constitution, the Republic, and its people.” The above in the light of what has been revealed by the reports point to questions of moral and constitutional legitimacy of the Government. How has the Parliament and the Executive conducted themselves? What do we do? This Conference must craft clear action plans for the sake of this nation. “Iph’ indlela? (Where is the way?).
To me this is a hopeful sign.

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