Archbishop Makgoba's plea for ANC conference

Hand holding an ANC flag.
FILE: Hand holding an ANC flag.
Image: PHILLIP NOTHNAGEL © Daily Dispatch

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town has implored ANC branch representatives to set aside factional issues at the party’s 54th elective conference this weekend.

He urged them to "put all factional‚ partisan interests aside and to follow their consciences and to be the architects of a flourishing South Africa".

In a public message on Tuesday‚ he said that branch representatives had "the opportunity of a lifetime … to put all factional‚ partisan interests aside."

The highly anticipated conference to decide on a new leader to succeed President Jacob Zuma will be held in Johannesburg. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma‚ the president's ex-wife‚ is up against his deputy‚ Cyril Ramaphosa‚ in a race that potentially threatens to split the party.

"As people of faith‚ our hope is always in God and not in any political party or in whoever a party may choose as its leader‚" said the Archbishop.

"But‚ as church leaders said in a joint statement over this weekend‚ we do need political leaders of integrity who will put the common good above all else."

Makgoba said church leaders had been asking for a return to a value-based‚ ethical and moral leadership for over a decade.

"Your choice‚ your votes‚ will determine not only your future‚ but the future of your children‚ your grandchildren and their grandchildren's future‚" he said.

"Make your decision as if you were going to die tomorrow. You are not a voter for the ANC‚ not even a delegate. You are an awakener."

He said branch representatives were effectively "the voice of tomorrow's South Africa. You face a moment of decision in which you will shape your destiny and the destiny of our beloved country."

He urged all of them to "choose wisely".