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Press Statement from NMM Church Leaders
(Sent to The Herald on 12 March 2018)
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We, the church leadership of the Nelson Mandela Metro, wish to congratulate the President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on his appointment as the president of the country and we welcome his declared intention to tackle the rampant corruption that is evident in our nation and pray for God’s blessing on his endeavours. We take great confidence in the independence of our Judiciary and look forward to those responsible for that corruption being brought to justice and the return of stolen funds.
We commend the President for the changes he has made in appointing a new Cabinet but will continue to press for the further changes that still need to be made to ensure that the country’s leadership is of a high moral calibre.
We, the church leaders, recognize the urgent need for land reform but request that the issue be dealt with sensitively and in an appropriate manner so that it does not degenerate into a ‘smash and grab’ scenario and civil war. Our country needs financial stability, foreign investment, economic growth, food security, job creation and social cohesion. We urge political parties not to use this important issue as a ‘political football’ to gain mileage and to avoid racial comments that ratchet up racial tension in our beautiful nation.
We urge our Parliament and the Judiciary, in the name of Christ Jesus, to exercise extreme caution when seeking to amend our constitution because of the obvious danger of discouraging investment and opening up our nation to further abuses of power. We, therefore, urge the Government to seek proper ways to distribute land in an equitable manner which will encourage productivity and not harm the agriculture sector which contributes such a substantial portion of our economic growth.
We encourage the people of our nation not to panic but to have confidence in the land distribution process to bring equity among our people and growth in our economy.
Local Service Delivery
We do not support the current political initiative to remove the Mayor of the Nelson Mandela Metropole. We believe it will have the catastrophic effect of seriously destabilizing our Metro at this critical juncture.
It is our duty to protect the citizens under our care, especially the poor, and we believe that such action will severely prejudice them by disrupting service delivery and the provision of basic services.
There is an African saying which says that ‘when two elephants fight the grass around them gets trampled’. We, in the Nelson Mandela Metropole, do not want to be the ultimate losers and suffer the consequences of squabbles between political parties.
In conclusion, we again reiterate that there is so much goodwill in our nation, with so many working for peace and stability, transparency and a sharing of our resources, and the growth of our economy, that we should do as the President recently requested in his State of the Nation Address: to stand up and say ‘Here I am’ and not let the positive momentum be derailed by a few.
God bless you all.
Signed on behalf of the Church Leadership Group of Nelson Mandela Metro:
Pastor Daan Botha: Harvest Christian Church
Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry: AFM
Bishop Jacob Freemantle: Methodist Church of SA (Grahamstown District)
Apostle Neville Goldman: Ebenezer International
Reverend Danie Mouton: Director Synod Eastern Cape DRC
Reverend Sipho Ncapayi: Moderator Presbyterian Church (Central & Southern Cape)
Bishop Bethlehem Nopece: Anglican Church SA (PE Diocese)
Dr Dave Pedersen: Fountain Vineyard Church
Reverend Rory Spence: Presbyterian Church
Pastor Russell Viljoen: Ebenezer North Community Church
Pastor Johannes Welskit: Regional Leader EC AFM
Bishop Vincent Zungu: Catholic Diocese PE
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