SOUTH Africa is in a new struggle against the abuse of power by those who have been elected to lead, and it is time to expose individuals who masquerade as leaders but do not make an effort to improve ordinary people’s quality of life.
This is according to Nelson Mandela Bay religious leaders, who yesterday announced their intention to not only become more assertive as the church, but to encourage other sectors of society to take up their rightful place in the run-up to the May 7 elections.
A joint statement, circulated around churches in the metro, was signed by many leaders, including the Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, Lunga ka Siboto, Port Elizabeth Anglican Church’s Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Ebenezer senior pastor Neville Goldman, the national leader of the Apostolic Team Assemblies of God Association, the Rev Danie Mouton, the secretary of the Metro Council of Churches and convener of the Nelson Mandela Bay Consultation of Christian Churches, Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom, the chairman of Transformation Christian Network, Pastor Mvusi Gwam, the regional leader of AFM Church, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry, and Grahamstown District of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa’s Bishop Musi Losaba.
The church leaders said they were not interested in a power struggle with political leaders but could not give politicians the freedom they had had in recent years.
“We have attempted to engage the municipal authorities and the president of the land in the past to no avail, and continue to observe a growing discontent among our communities about the state of our country. We are determined to retrieve lost power and to use it to the benefit of our society as a whole.
“As the church we will not be hijacked by any political party. We support the ideal that our people have the power to change their situation through the ballot box. The balance of power given by the majority needs to move leaders towards serving the people instead of ruling the people.” – Thulani Gqirana