POLITICS

'Moral And Economic Oppression' Has Resulted In SA's Capture By One Family, Says Archbishop Makgoba

"Some among our leaders have become slaves to a new form of colonial oppression."

17/04/2017 07:41 SAST | Updated 17/04/2017 10:39 SAST
Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at the Conference on Global Health and Faith Based Communities on June 21, 2015 in Kleinmond.

Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called on South African leaders to have an economic and land Codesa in his Easter sermon at St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Saturday night.

Makgoba said that South Africa has come to the lowest point in its political life with corruption, cronyism, contempt for the poor and entitlement dominating South Africa's landscape.

"Let us turn this moment of crisis into a moment of opportunity and convene a land Codesa to negotiate a solution to this emotional issue and, in the light of the downgrades of our credit ratings, an economic Codesa too," he said.

The Convention for a Democratic South Africa, or Codesa, were the negotiations to bring apartheid to an end.

He lamented President Jacob Zuma's Cabinet reshuffle, saying the effects would be far-reaching on the poor especially, unless the situation was changed in order to avoid South Africa ending up entering what he called 'the Zimbabwe moment'.

"They [politicians] have devastated our hopes for the kind of foreign investment which we desperately need to grow our economy and create new jobs. Their impact on consumer confidence and trust is immeasurable. Tens of thousands of jobs are directly affected by just a 10 percent drop in consumer confidence," said Makgoba.

"While colonialism and apartheid are over, some of our institutions, part of our economy; and some among our leaders have become slaves to a new form of colonial oppression. It is a moral and economic oppression that manifests itself in the form of one family's capture of our country, and a president whose integrity, soul and heart have been compromised," he said.

'Prepare for the future'

Makgoba made Biblical references that he cross-referenced to the current political situation, saying South Africa needed leaders that would serve future generations well, and have the interests of the poor at heart. He also said South Africans need to start preparing themselves for a future after 'the end of a deeply corrupt regime'.

"After President Zuma has fallen, will those who benefit from his patronage fall too? Because if we change leaders but the patronage system that the current leadership has produced doesn't change; if state-owned enterprises, the prosecution and law-enforcement agencies remain captured by corrupt interests, we are no better off," he said.

Makgoba acknowledged that the previous dispensation, through its economic system, had made South Africa one of the most unequal societies on earth, and that this system had to be challenged.

"We need to overcome the skewed racial ordering of our economy and the obscene inequality which it produces, not by indulging the rapacious greed of a few politically-connected individuals, but by building a new, fairer society which distributes wealth more equitably for all," said Makgoba.

Makgoba is the Head of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. He was the youngest person to be elected to this position upon his appointment six years ago.

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