LISTEN | 'We don't see your Thuma Mina here': Clergy tells Ramaphosa in Mokopane

President Cyril Ramaphosa 'deserves a second term'.
President Cyril Ramaphosa 'deserves a second term'.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

The ANC is not getting prayers from the clergy in Mokopane, Limpopo, ahead of its birthday celebration but rather a strong dose of the “shame” South Africans have been subjected to under its governance.

Religious leaders on Thursday greeted President Cyril Ramaphosa with fierce criticism of the ANC as an organisation and its governance under his leadership.

Listen to what was said: 

“If it was raining I wouldn't have made it here — because there are no roads.

“In fact, if we can drive you around town, Mr President, you would be ashamed of its rotten state. We don't see your Thuma Mina here — so where are the people you sent?” asked Bishop Edward Mahlakgane of Ministries International.

Mahlakgane said service delivery was so dismal in Mokopane and surrounding areas that the state of roads, scarcity of water and basic services affected the dignity of citizens.

He credited all of this to the governing ANC's corruption, arrogance and failure to engage communities, religious and traditional leaders.

“We are worried about corruption, Mr President. Even if they hide, we see it, because it is so visible everywhere,” he said.

“Even the traffic officers who give us tickets cannot show us where the road is — that is how poor the state of governance is.

“People come to home affairs and have to relieve themselves in the bushes because there are no toilets.”

Mahlakgane also decried the ANC's treatment of religious leaders during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying despite the party having been formed in a church — its core foundation — religious leaders had been relegated to the bottom of its priorities.

“It is sad that churches are only visited during election time. We are not engaged but addressed. Mr President we ask you to engage with us because we have a role to play in this government.

“Taverns are in every street but there are no churches in sight. We have no place to build places where we can pray for your leadership. We are being chased out of schools,” he said.

He also decried the exclusion of pastors from receiving the R350 grant, despite them having no income due to the pandemic while being on the front lines burying those who die from Covid-19.

“You are turning pastors into religious undertakers. We have buried so many of us because they go bury those who die of Covid-19 and contract it,” Mahlakgane added.

Ramaphosa conceded that ANC corruption and failures were indefensible. But he said the challenges that faced SA were not insurmountable and called on all to join him and the ANC in achieving an ideal nation.

“More so when we speak of challenges like Covid-19 and corruption, thousands of people put their fingers into money meant for PPE. Meanwhile our unemployment is worse because of Covid-19.

“We have constraints like Eskom, infrastructure, reforms, the July unrest, wanton destruction of property, parliament burnt and someone tried to break windows at the ConCourt,” he added.

But Ramaphosa reminded those gathered in Mokopane that SA was everyone's heritage,  adding that people needed to work together to defend the gains made to achieve more.

He also promised that despite known divisions in the ANC, party leaders had the same goal - working for a better SA.

“Even as we are grappling with these complex challenges and we disagree on solutions, in the ANC we have a common view, and a common goal to serve the people of SA.

'“No problem or disagreement is too great to overcome because we are bound to ensure that we build a SA that will deliver a better life for all of us,” said Ramaphosa.

He said the ANC could no longer be defined by corruption and promised that despite Mokopane being where “corruption resides and people are even killed”, the ANC was committed to ending that.

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