Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Reflections on the Upcoming ANC Conference

The full text of this message appears below:

In South Africa, we have been waiting, praying and anticipating a renaissance of values-based, ethical and moral leadership for nearly ten years. We are now on destiny’s doorstep.

As people of faith, our hope is always in God and not in any political party or in whoever a party may choose as its leader. But, as church leaders said in a joint statement over this weekend, we do need political leaders of integrity who will put the common good above all else.

Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. At the upcoming ANC Conference, branch representatives have the opportunity of a lifetime: to put all factional, partisan interests aside, to follow their consciences and to be the architects of a flourishing South Africa.

Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not come – all we have is today. Your choice, your votes will determine not only your future, but the future of your children, your grandchildren and their grandchildren’s future.

I have a simple message: Make your decision as if you were going to die tomorrow. You are not a voter for the ANC, not even a delegate.  You are an awakener.

You are the voice of tomorrow’s South Africa. You face a moment of decision in which you will shape your destiny and the destiny of our beloved country.

You have a choice: to open the window of equality of opportunity for all South Africans or to put us at risk of another decade of moral famine. For the sake of our common future, please choose wisely.

You will be in our prayers.

God bless.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

CapeTalk interview on 'Faith & Courage'

Cape Town radio host Pippa Hudson interviews Archbishop Thabo on his memoir.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

"The ANC’s time may have passed" - Archbishop

From a programme on the radio station, Power FM, in Johannesburg:

Archbishop Makgoba: The ANC’s time may have passed

In possibly his strongest censure yet of the ANC, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said it was time for South Africans to stop putting their faith in political movements.

 POWER Talk host Iman Rappetti was in conversation with Makgoba and others for the OR Tambo dialogue at POWER House on Tuesday, discussing the icon’s life and legacy. Other panelists included Lindiwe Mabuza, South African High Commission in the UK and author of Oliver Tambo Remembered, Sizwe Mpofu-Walsh, an author and musician, and former ANC NEC member Pallo Jordan.

Makgoba was talking about the path forward for South Africans, saying: “Perhaps as South Africans we need to say yes, the glorious moment has done its part. If the glorious movement survives its December elective conference with whomever they elect, would the glorious party survive 2019? And maybe we need to move beyond the glorious movements and look at the glorious people of South Africa,” he said to applause.

Makgoba conceded, when pushed by Rappetti that indeed, the ANC’s time may be coming to an end.

“Are you saying its time has passed?” asked Rappetti.

He paused for a moment before saying: “Yes” to applause. He added: “If the values can’t reside in the glorious movement, let it reside in the people of South Africa.”

Rappetti noted it was his strongest censure yet of the movement.

Makgabo responded, saying: “I’m saying that this is the time for South Africans to take their own destiny into their hands, and to rely less on political formations. Because they’re not leading us into… economic emancipation. They’re about power, they’re about resourcing themselves and their nearest and dearest, and for me the poorest of the poor… continue to be poor.”

‘What happens to the ANC I could care less about’

Mpofu-Walsh was more forceful in his comments. “A mistake we made was conflating the ANC with the liberation movement,” he said to applause. “Sometimes it was at the forefront, sometimes it was at the back, sometimes it was going in the opposite direction as it is now.”

“We need to save the liberation movement… what happens to the ANC I could care less about,” he added. “We fought for democracy, not an ANC, NEC-ocracy. The centre of power in our country needs to move from the ANC NEC to parliament when we voted in people to represent us.”

Makgoba added later that he wrestled with a dilemma whether he and other religious leaders should take the major step of withdrawing moral support from the government.

“I always wrestle with… the question of when do we call for a withdrawal of moral support for a democratically elected government and I think that’s a deep struggle.”

‘Don’t abandon the father of our country, OR Tambo’

Responding to the idea that the clergy should stay out of politics, he said: “The values of OR as an Anglican Christian who nearly became a priest, his values were probably shaped by that passage in John 10: He came so that we may have life and have it abundantly.”

He then referenced scriptures that mention the “thief” that comes to steal and rob.

“Now if I see as a priest in South Africa that South Africans are not flourishing because there are thieves and robbers who are jumping over the fence to steal the fat of the land, should I just stay in my chapel and say-”

“Let us pray,” interjected Rappetti, to applause and laughs from the audience.

The future of the ANC and its place in South African society was a recurring topic in the discussion.

ANC stalwart and former chair of the OR Tambo Foundation, Mavuso Msimang, was in the audience and spoke about the party’s values and its current crisis.

“As a loyal member of the ANC I hang my head in shame that I participated, however indirectly, in the election of a bunch of people who have reduced the name of the ANC to where it is now,” he said.

Picking up on Mpofu-Walsh’s comments about the party he added: “The ideals of the ANC should be protected forever. They are universal, they are not exclusive to the ANC.”

Mabuza was more direct, saying to Mpofu-Walsh in her closing comments: “Sizwe, you may not care about the ANC, that is your prerogative. But please care about everything Tambo said. You’re right to criticise ferociously, that is your right, but please don’t abandon the father of our country, OR Tambo.”

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sermon at a confirmation service at St. Thomas', Rondebosch

Exodus 33: 12-23, Psalm 99, I Thessalonians 1:1-10, Matthew 22: 15-22

May I speak in the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dear people of God of St Thomas, it is a great delight to be with you today and share in your confirmations.

Thank you, Fr Keith, thank you Wardens and Council, for your invitation to join you today, and welcome to the Revd Cheryl Bird and the people of Christ the King, Kenilworth.

Thank you so much to you the confirmation candidates for the encouraging letters you wrote to me on why you wanted to be confirmed. This is a beautiful start to a new venture in your lives.

By the time we reach today’s text in Exodus 33, the Israelites have travelled through most of the desert portion of their journey on their way to a new homeland. At the beginning of their journey God calls them to himself to be a priestly people and a Holy Nation. He chooses them not because they are morally good but to preserve God’s laws and to pave the way for the coming Messiah. Amongst them dwelt God the Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of the world… until Jesus Christ appeared on earth.

Statement on McKinsey, KPMG etc. to accompany Archbishop's sermon

Archbishop Thabo elaborated on the criticism in his Sunday sermon of foreign business consultants and their role in facilitating corruption in South African business and government in the following statement: 

“Firms operating in South Africa, whether local or foreign, seem to have a diminished capacity to take responsibility for their actions.

“Despite the intense focus on the activities of companies suspected of looting state resources, McKinsey and KPMG took action not as a result of their own internal ethical guidelines but in response to pressure from civil society and the media.

“Would those international consultancies do the same in the countries in which their head offices are based? Or do they have a different set of ethical and moral values when they work in Africa?

“I welcome McKinsey’s  apology, even though it was weak, but note that they made it only after intense lobbying and the threat of litigation.They seem to have acted only out of embarrassment at getting caught.

“They would have earned the respect of many church leaders if they had come forward much earlier and in response to their own moral compasses. As it stands, their apology sounds like the statement of those who are admitting to a minimum of wrongdoing to enable them to run away from taking further responsibility.

“It is time for them to move past their excuses and demonstrate their character. If they are serious about their apologies, they need to think about how they can invest in South Africans in a memorable, impactful and meaningful way.”