From St George's Cathedral, Cape Town, Esley Philander of the SABC reports on the Archbishop's Christmas homily:
South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba delivered a sobering midnight mass sermon at the Saint George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday night warning that corruption has infected government in "epidemic proportions". (full text follows video clip)
Full text report:
'Corruption has infected government in epidemic proportions'
South African Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba delivered a sobering midnight mass sermon at the Saint George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday night warning that corruption has infected government in "epidemic proportions".
Makgoba added that the firing of former Minister of Finance Nhlanla Nene was ‘reckless’ and that it failed to consider the needs of the nation, and especially the poor.
The Archbishop says the levels of discontentment continue to grow in the country.
Makgoba suggested that it would be difficult to celebrate Christmas in 2015.
"It is not easy tonight to bring good news of great joy or say, without inhibition, "Happy Christmas". Many are asking: Where is the joy? How can we put aside our daily cares to celebrate the birth of Christ,Growing, deepening discontent is palpable in South Africa."
"A discontent that is causing even the most beautiful of days to be invaded by the pervasive smell of the rot which is being spread by the moral pollution of our public life ."
He says the Fees Must Fall Campaign is the natural result of growing inequality.
"The #FeesMustFall campaign reflected the dark clouds of restless unhappiness, frustration and rebelliousness against the increasing inequalities that contaminate our daily lives. "
"But whether or not you agree with the government's response to that, at least it was rational. The sheer recklessness of the firing of Nhlanhla Nene, the failure to consider the needs of the nation, and particularly the needs of the poor, was staggering."
Makgoba says the key challenges facing democratic institutions should be addressed.
"Let us not make the mistake of thinking that the solution to our problems lies simply in replacing one leader with another. The new struggle is about values and institutions rather than about personalities."
"When church leaders went last week to see President Zuma, we said we agreed to work with the Presidency to restore trust in government. We know that the abuse of our institutions for political reasons did not begin with President Zuma's incumbency, so whether or not he is replaced before his term ends, we need to build strong systems and institutions."