By Fr Anthony Egan S.J. To the African National Congress last week must surely feel as, at worst, the rumour of defeat to come, at best a loud political wake-up...
It is clear that our country is deeply divided and now stands at a moral, political and economic crossroad. At such a time, we need a parliament that demonstrates strong ethical leadership and exercises non-partisan oversight over the executive.
We therefore urge all the members of parliament to vote according to their conscience and consider the common good, and not partisan interests, factional royalties and their political survival, when they vote in the pending motion of no confidence.
We wish to state our view that, just is the case in other countries, conscience vote or free vote should be allowed to happen in parliament in matters that are critical for the common good and the building of an accountable state. It is in the interest of the poor that South Africa grows into a nation where electorate can hold members of parliament to account and where members of parliament can hold the president and the ministers to account. Allowing conscience vote in parliament can reduce the current accountability deficit and contribute to the development of this vision.
As the marches against the president continue, we call on the leaders of ANC to stop and listen with humility to the issues and concerns raised by the people who march against the president. They should not be quick to dismiss genuine calls for executive accountability as racism and as an attack on radical economic transformation.
We also reiterate the call made last week by Archbishop Brislin on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference: “We respectfully remind President Zuma that he has been elected to serve all South Africans. It appears that he has lost the confidence of many of his own closest colleagues, as well as that of numerous civil society organisations. He should earnestly reconsider his position, and not be afraid to act with courage and humility in the nation’s best interests”
As we enter the Holy Week, we urge all Christians and people of good will to use the Holy Week celebrations to place our agonies and our fears as a nation at the foot of the Cross so that, through the Grace of the Risen Christ, our country opens up to experience God’s healing, higher levels of ethical leadership and genuine economic freedom.
Released on: 12 April 2017 For more information:
Bishop Abel Gabuza.
Cell number: 0825494324
Phone number: 053 831 1861 or 053 831 1862. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Archbishop William Slattery: Cell: 0834685473