Monday 28 December 2020

Letter of condolence to the NUM

The text of a letter of condolence sent to the National Union of Mineworkers following the death of their General Secretary, David Kolekile Sipunzi, on Christmas Day: 

Friday 25 December 2020

Thursday 24 December 2020

Archbishop's Christmas sermon

The text of the sermon preached by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at a Christmas Eve Mass with Lessons and Carols at the Cathedral Church of St George the Martyr in Cape Town. The Archbishop began by thanking the Dean, staff and members of the Cathedral congregation for their faithful service during the pandemic. He continued: 

Let me begin bluntly by saying that 2020 has been a lousy, unspeakable year for too many South Africans, and this Christmas – coming during a time of such intense suffering across the world – is not the Christmas we would have asked for. But it is the Christmas we have been given, and I invite you to reflect on the observation that it is probably the Christmas in our lifetimes which has the strongest resonance with the first Christmas. 

Saturday 19 December 2020

Important Guidelines -- Second Wave of the Coronavirus

 Dear People of God 

Please find for careful study and implementation an important report and recommendations from the Provincial COVID Advisory Team on the second wave of the coronavirus now being experienced in many parts of our Province. 

Key implications of the report: 

    • Most urgent, in South Africa, all faith-based institutions have to be closed by 9pm in the evenings, whether events are held indoors or outdoors. This means ensuring all Christmas Eve services are finished by 9pm on Thursday. 

    • The Advisory Team recommends that services be restricted to 80 worshippers, where that number can be accommodated while observing social distancing of 1,5 metres. Where capacity is smaller, places of worship should not be more than 50% full. 

    • In South Africa, the latest regulations in any event limit attendance of a funeral to 100, observing 1,5m social distancing, or 50% of capacity where 100 cannot be accommodated. Night vigils and after-funeral gatherings, such as "after-tears" events, are prohibited. 

    •  In some churches, mask-wearing, proper sanitising and the prohibition on handshakes and singing without masks is not being observed.  

    • Where possible, we should return to on-line services and Diocesan bishops should seriously consider requests from parishes who wish to close for Christmas due to local conditions where such requests are properly motivated.  

    • Older people are often those who are most lonely in lockdown, but those over 60 and have co-morbidities are still the most vulnerable and ought to avoid returning to services. 

    • A vaccine is our best and only defence against the virus. We need to participate in advocacy efforts to see that access to the vaccine happens on a just and equitable basis. We need to support education initiatives around the vaccine and call for vaccination as  a common good. 

    • We need to focus anew on addressing food insecurity and other social needs and also strengthen our response to this is a more intentional way. As a mark of solidarity and hospitality to honour the birth of the Christ child in a manger, we should consider donating food, school shoes or a stationery pack instead of buying presents.

    • Since the Advisory Team met, it has become evident that new infections are highest in the 15-19 age group, so where possible the number of servers should also be reduced for the time being. 

Please read the accompanying report carefully. I am sure you will all join me in thanking the Advisory Team for their extensive and detailed work.  

 God bless you. 

† Thabo Cape Town

You can download the report here >>

Monday 14 December 2020

Friday 11 December 2020

Human rights award for Archbishop Emeritus Tutu

Remarks prepared for the granting of the Article 3 Human Rights Global Treasure Award to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu:

It is a great honour to have been asked to speak on behalf of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond today. I am privileged and grateful to have the opportunity. 

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Message for International Anti-Corruption Day

The following message was delivered on the Archbishop's behalf at an International Anti-Corruption Day protest in Cape Town: 

More than six years ago, religious leaders in Cape Town led a march to Parliament to protest against the corruption of the previous administration. At the rally we held at the end of that march, I described the collapse of standards and values we were seeing as something that began as a trickle but became a flood. But as alarming as the picture was, we never realised how extensive that flood was, or how deeply corruption reached into our public and private sectors.