Pastor declares townships a 'hell'
PASTOR Xola Skosana marched through Khayelitsha in Cape Town with a huge banner declaring townships a "hell" on Christmas Day.
"The government must never be absolved from its responsibilities," he said during his 10km march.
Sowetan reported earlier this year on Skosana's ground-breaking "Jesus was HIV-positive" sermon, which made national headlines.
On Christmas Day he stood alongside the busy N2 highway from Cape Town to Eastern Cape to complain about the hellish life in townships.
"Christmas must be a day of solidarity with the poor in our townships. Women and children suffer all manner of abuses daily," he said.
Skosana said the townships were nothing but glorified refugee camps, and rat-infested hellholes that must be exposed for what they really are.
He said comments from people during his 10km march from the heart of Khayelitsha showed people wanted improved living conditions.
"Those of us who have escaped poverty must take it on ourselves to throw a lifeline to somebody, teaching life-skills, offering a job or educating a child ... anything," Skosana said.
"More importantly, to remind the government of its primary function - that of creating favourable conditions for its citizens to live with dignity, and to ensure that everybody has an equal and fair chance to make something of themselves."
Supporting the reverend was Western Cape Abahlali BaseMjondolo chairperson Mzonke Poni, who urged those in authority to "listen to voices of conscience".
Nodumo Sotashe also took part in the march, saying the issues raised by Skosana were real.
"This march will get South Africans talking and perhaps speedy solutions will come," she said.
Skosana said his message was hard to swallow but he hoped the government would take note.