Thursday 27 August 2020

ANC's 'corrupt bigwigs' must return 'stolen treasures' – Archbishop Thabo

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to ensure that “hypocrites” and “thieves” in the ANC return what they have stolen from the public and be sent to jail. 

He made the call in a message recorded to support a new anti-corruption campaign launched by the SA Council of Churches, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Foundation for Human Rights and the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution. 

Representatives of the organisations met the ANC's “top six”, headed by President Ramaphosa, on Monday, where they said that “the governing party leadership appears compromised within itself.” They added: "There comes a time when the moral depravity of some in positions of authority, and in the private sector, undermine the very notion of nationhood and the underlying value of public service. We are compelled to assert: This is not how we shall be known as a nation. We refuse to allow corrupt networks in different provinces to go about their criminal activity, trampling on the rights of honest and law-abiding people.” 

Addressing President Ramaphosa a video and audio message, Archbishop Makgoba said: 

“Mr President:

“In the Book of Kings in the Old Testament, God tells Elijah to leave the cave to which he has retreated, and to engage with the world. Similarly today, God compels us as the Church to come out of our sanctuaries and to speak out about the conditions that afflict our people. If we don't, then as Jesus says in Luke's Gospel, the very stones will cry out. 

“Today, Mr President, our hearts, our souls, our bodies and our minds are consumed with the national crisis that faces South Africa. The public's money, life-saving money that is meant to provide oxygen to the breathless poor in the midst of a pandemic, has been misappropriated, stolen in brazen defiance of the commandment in the Book of Exodus which enjoins each of us: Thou shalt not steal. 

“Mr President, this is not only stealing. It is annihilating the very lives of the poorest, it is almost genocidal in effect. Corrupt big-wigs who have joined your party, not to serve the common good but to enrich themselves, act with impunity – their attitudes are debilitating, life-drenching. 'Ha bana letswalo, Mr President, ba feteletse.' They are, like the scribes and Pharisees Jesus called out in Matthew's Gospel, hypocrites. 

“At this time in the history of our country, we must draw a line in the sand and say anew: Thus says the Lord, on whom our hope is founded, the hypocrites and the thieves must return the stolen treasures of the poor, and they must be dispatched to jail, where they must wear orange jumpsuits.”

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