Honourable ANC Members of Parliament
We, church leaders representing millions of South Africans, address this open letter to you – and only to you – at this crucial moment in the political history of our country. We do so independently of what other political parties choose to do and we ask them to respect our independence. You, ANC members of Parliament, literally hold the future of this country in your hands. You stand at a crossroads where you can either choose to continue to put the country through its current trauma or you can choose hope, and to focus on the common good, by ensuring this President is removed as soon as possible.
Specifically we ask that you vote for the motion of no confidence in President Zuma on Tuesday 18 April 2017. We as faith leaders will be seeking to meet personally with each of you during this next week and beyond. We also encourage all South African citizens to reach out to you, as their representatives in Parliament, to express their own hopes and dreams for our nation at this time. Details of how to do this can be found on www.hopemustrise.org. The recent Cabinet reshuffle has confirmed the fear of many South Africans that what is at issue is not radical economic transformation and effectiveness, as the President told the nation, but an intensification of the project of State Capture.
Not only is this a reckless disregard of the economic consequences of his action, but is sure to compromise the poor, raise unemployment and ensure that his narrow and corrupt self-interests are served. In our view, the President should embody something of the common aspirations of our people, but instead he is tearing society apart by his seeming unbridled greed and pursuit of self-interest. The past year has proven to us that he is unable to fulfil his role as the custodian of our constitution and our freedom. As you know, our country faces massive challenges that we do not need to spell out to you.
Instead of addressing these issues in a serious and systematic fashion, we are constantly being distracted by a President who clearly does not understand that the people of South Africa and their needs come first. He holds onto those who put the poorest of the poor at risk, but wants to remove those who keep our economy afloat. The gains made before are being reversed before our eyes. Those who have always believed that black or African leadership would be disastrous for the country are feeling that they are being proven right. We know that this is not true and that we have excellent leaders within the ANC, but President Zuma is not one of them.
President Zuma and the national executive,have failed to address the most pressing issues in any serious or systematic fashion. The constant distraction by our President, clearly demonstrates his lack of will and understanding of the needs, hopes and dreams of the people of South Africa and his role to serve our democracy and Constitution. We know that the ANC has a long history of excellent, servant leaders who have sacrificially led this country for over a century. President Zuma is not one of those leaders. His actions make a mockery of the sacrifice of so many. His actions are also giving people across the continent reason to lose hope.
Our country cannot be distracted for another year while we lose more and more of our sovereignty to those who do not have the interest of the people of South Africa at heart. We address you as ANC members of Parliament who were elected three years ago to serve the people and we will be monitoring your actions carefully. Many of us have consistently voted for the ANC but if something very, very urgent is not done about this President, you will give us no option but to desire that others serve us in Parliament. We do not say this lightly, but we want you to understand the gravity of this moment. You saw what happened in the Metro’s last year, and we want you to think about what it might mean on a national level.
We trust and pray that you will hear our appeal and respond to it in the best traditions of the movement which you serve. We wish for our veterans to be at peace, and we ask that you take them out of their misery into which this President has plunged them. Please hear the call from us, from them and from those who have gone before us.
As we approach Easter, we are not optimistic but we are hopeful. We hope even beyond hope. It is very human to make the Barrabas choice, but know that even hope-crucified will always be victorious. We pray that you will rather align yourself with this hope as it opens the possibility for you, our country and our continent to become completely free, thereby setting off a ripple of tremendous hope.
The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa
Nelson Mandela Bay Transformation Christian Network
Western Cape Ecumenical Network
Consultation of Christian Churches
Tswane Church Leaders Forum
Bishop Siwa – Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of South Africa.
Jean Symons – Leader of Doxa Deo Church
Braam Hanekom – Director of the Centre for Public Witness