South African religious leaders launch campaign to end corruption

By Munyaradzi Makoni
Posted Aug 22, 2012

[Ecumenical News International, Cape Town, South Africa] An inter-faith group of religious leaders in South Africa has embarked on a national campaign to fight bribery, patronage, nepotism and abuse of public funds.

Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Baha’i and African traditional leaders launched the “Call to End Corruption” on Aug. 22 in the impoverished suburb of Khayelitsha, a few kilometres outside Cape Town.

“Corruption is not merely a material challenge affecting the political economy of South Africa (and the world), but also a spiritual, moral, and social concern,” the leaders said in the campaign document.

The leaders said corruption enabled people in leadership to profit from bad behavior and thereby justified “petty” corruption at all levels of society and creating a culture of impunity. They added that the pursuit of money and power was threatening South Africa’s young democracy and robbing the poor of their basic needs.

“If our religious communities cannot confess that it is wrong to have [too] much when others have nothing, we have no hope for this country,” said the Rev. Alan Storey of Central Methodist Church.

Cape Town Roman Catholic Archbishop Stephen Brislin called on faith communities to work together to tackle corruption.

Kobus Gerber, general secretary of the Dutch Reformed Church, said faith communities needed to form a common public theology to address corruption.

“Moral regeneration is not the job of the state, it’s our job,” he said. “We are faced with a second liberation struggle, a struggle for the soul of this nation.”

Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba said he would like to see churches educate people against corruption.

The leaders resolved to support communities that suffer most from corruption, so that none would see the need to destroy the little they have to draw the attention of government to their plight.


Comments (1)

  1. Robin Baker says:

    The corruption and the social and economic inequality that it gives rise to is the core issue for South Africa at present. We have seen in recent weeks how those with a vested interest can forget their past and turn on the very people they supposedly set out to help.

    South Africa faces a difficult if not bleak future if it is unable to find a way for the “pillars of the constitution” to become a living reality at all levels in the society. When white as well as black are seen to do the menial tasks as well as the leadership. The society needs not only to blur the edges of the social divide, it needs to mix it up completely. But that must be done in a sustainable and socially just way. Most of the white people in South Africa know no other home. They belong there and must be allowed to benefit as well as having to share their heritage.
    Look no further than the Solms Delta wine estate for a model of society which works. Replicate that at all levels and you have the strongest, fairest and most prosperous nation on earth.

    Good luck with your campaign.

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