Churches debate ANC leadership

2007-11-20 00:00

He said the outcome of each of the seminars is to be compiled into a report and sent to the Presidency.

Anglican Bishop Rubin Phillip, from the KZN Christian Council, said they are not trying to influence the process, but they want common sense to prevail.

“We want to let them know what qualities we are looking for in a leader,” said the bishop, who went on to describe some of those qualities, including statesmanship, moral fortitude, genuine concern for the poor and a belief in debate.

It seemed that speakers from the floor held up a template of the two front-runners in the ANC's leadership battle, Jacob Zuma and President Thabo Mbeki, and identified qualities in each candidate that they do not want.

They want a more down to earth leader, but one who is morally upright, they want a leader to rise above vindictiveness, not abuse state organs to settle personal scores and to show genuine concern for the poor.

The basis for discussion was a hard-hitting paper entitled: “Succession Matters: A Christian Viewpoint on the issues surrounding the election of the next president of South Africa”, by SACC president Tinyiko Maluleke.

In it he asks, “How did we end up with this situation where our choices appear to be limited only to these two men?

“Would any of the two take us any further than we have come in addressing the pressing problems of HIV/Aids, poverty and service delivery? Do the two of them really present alternatives to the nation?”

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