Church leaders offered pastoral guidance to Zuma

File Photo
File Photo

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says that when it asked President Jacob Zuma for a meeting earlier this year it was to offer him pastoral guidance‚ as the moral custodians of society.

The SACC’s general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana addressed the media in Johannesburg on Thursday morning‚ responding to the “shocking” details contained in former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s state capture report.

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The report was released on Wednesday by order of the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Pretoria.

In it‚ Madonsela finds that Zuma may have breached the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and has recommended that he appoint a judicial commission of inquiry to deal with state capture.

Mpumlwana said that the one-on-one meeting the SACC sought with Zuma‚ to discuss moral issues‚ never materialised.

“The main ingredient that the churches bring is what we call the moral compass of society. We believe that this is something that we should do as best we can.

“The nature of pastoral ministry is that to the extent that [if] I can direct myself to you I will do that. I won’t go to her to tell her how much you should be changing your life. I will come to you.

“That’s just the standard manner of pastoral minister. The reason why [SACC president] Bishop [Ziphozihle] Siwa needed to have time with the president of the republic was precisely for that.”

Church heads from the SACC and the National Religious Leaders Council had earlier this year urged Zuma to consider resigning as head of the state in light of scandals such as the money spent irregularly on security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

Siwa said that it is unfortunate that one allegation after another continued to reflect badly on Zuma. The call for him to consider resigning was not against Zuma‚ but rather for him‚ he said.

“He has worked so hard for this liberation and we hope that he will jealously guard the liberation that he fought for. Including taking steps that will [enable] him to be at peace with himself for the nation to prosper.”

Mpumlwana made it clear‚ however‚ that‚ “We are not in the business of driving the president out of office“.

The SACC welcomed Madonsela’s recommendation for a judicial inquiry into state capture to be appointed as a

“stroke of genius‚” saying corruption is dividing the nation.

In April the SACC called on members of the public to approach it and “unburden” themselves relating to acts of intimidation‚ bribery and corruption‚ as part of its pastoral ministry.

Some of the allegations reported to the SACC in this process‚ such as Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas’ claim that he was offered the post of finance minister by the Gupta family last year‚ are contained in the state capture report.



— TMG Digital


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