SOUTH AFRICA: Church Warns the Corrupt Against Inciting Violence to Escape Justice


CAPE TOWN, DECEMBER 4, 2020 (CISA)-The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference has warned individuals implicated in corruption against inciting people to violence in order to escape jail sentences.

In a reflection on the state of the nation and of the Catholic Church, Bishop Sithembele Sipuka, president of the SACBC said that the trial of Mr Ace Magashule Secretary General of African National Congress (ANC) and the issuing of the warrant of arrest for Mr. Jacob Zuma are signs that corruption is being tackled.

“At the same time there is a growing worry that the factions we have been hearing about among the elites of the ruling party will now spill over to the ordinary people which could lead to violence. The trending voice clip calling the military veterans to gather in Nkandla, apparently to protect Mr. Jacob Zuma could just be the beginning of a series of occasions of politically motivated violence,” he said in a November 30 statement.

While lauding the efforts displayed in fighting corruption, Bishop Sipuka urged South Africans to prepare for what he termed as “frightening consequences of dealing with corruption”.

“…let us also prepare ourselves to deal with a situation where corrupt kingpins, to avoid jail sentences, will present themselves as political victims and incite people to violence and insubordination,” he said inviting citizens to let experiences of the ending year conform them more to the image of Christ.

Bishop Sipuka also referred to the upsurge of Covid-19 and administration at both provincial and Local governments as the striking signs for the year 2020.

“With the government having tried to control the spread and effects of Covid-19 when it first emerged, this upsurge is a sign of fatigue among ordinary people about Covid-19. People are tired of Covid-19 restrictions,” he said while highlighting an upsurge reported in the province of the Eastern Cape.

He expressed concerns at how people are flouting Covid-19 preventing measures for cultural and entertainment reasons. “as leaders, whether we like it or not, we shall be involved in the aftermath of these fatal behaviors, so we must do something about this problem,” Bishop Sipuka added.

He invited citizens to employ a personal reflection about the signs of this year. The bishop also encouraged leaders to also “read them in relation to social, economic and political context and facilitate an appropriate response both from the people we lead and from those in power.”