Following the resignation of Jacob Zuma from the presidency, the bishops of Southern Africa have pledged prayerful support to the incoming administration, while at the same time urging government to take careful note of the way in which it allowed the current situation to develop.
STATEMENT OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE ON THE RESIGNATION OF PRESIDENT JACOB GEDLEYIHLEKISA ZUMA
The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference welcomes the resignation of President Jacob Zuma. It is long overdue. While for some it may be a painful event, we call on all to accept his decision as part of our democratic process.
The fact that Mr Zuma has been allowed to hold on to the highest position in the land despite longstanding and overwhelming evidence of his unfitness for office, has done immense harm to our country’s international reputation, to its economy and, especially, to its poorest and most vulnerable citizens.
It is generally perceived that the Zuma presidency has degraded standards of morality and honour in our public life, and has fostered corruption and dereliction of duty at all levels of government.
We urge the governing ANC to take careful note of the way in which allowed this situation to develop over the last ten years, and we call on the ANC to commit itself to a thorough reassessment of its internal standards and mechanisms of accountability.
In this centenary year of Nelson Mandela’s birth, we hope and pray for a return to the ideals of servant leadership with which South Africa was blessed in the first years of its democracy.
This week, Christians throughout the world began the holy season of Lent, a time of commitment to new beginnings, of casting off the selfishness and sinfulness that affect all people. We pray that, in the coming weeks, just as we make our spiritual journey towards the renewal and hope of Easer, our country will begin its own political journey to a future of renewed hope and commitment to the ideals of our Constitution.
In that spirit, we pledge our prayerful support to the incoming administration, and to all who hold public office in our country, that they may serve all the people of South Africa diligently, honestly and with the integrity that the long suffering people of this country deserve.
Archbishop of Cape Town, President of the Southern African Bishops’ Conference