Church must combat rape

2013-03-03 10:00

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ANC deputy president Ramaphosa has called on Christians to stand up against rape and corruption. Ramaphosa said Christians needed to ‘become the moral conscience of our country’ and act as agents to raise the moral consciousness of the nation.

Speaking in Rustenburg at the Pentecostal Holiness Church’s centennial celebrations yesterday, Cyril Ramaphosa told nearly 500 congregants that South Africa was a “Lord-fearing nation, a God-fearing country”.

“We also need to be the moral conscience of our country when it comes to respect for women and acting against rapists. We as Christians need to become the moral conscience of our country,” he said.

Ramaphosa, who started and ended his speech with a “hallelujah”, said: “This country cares for the Lord. It recognises the importance of the Lord and the hegemony of the Lord.”

After saying “hallelujah” at the start of his speech, Ramaphosa broke into a popular Christian song, which has some of the following lyrics: “If you believe and I believe / And we together pray / The Holy Spirit must come down / And Africa will be saved.”

Said Ramaphosa: “This country requires leadership. It requires its consciousness to be raised.

“There is no better agent than Christians and the church to raise the morals, the moral consciousness of our nation,” he said.

“It falls on us as Christians. We must say this is a sin. This is a crime. Rape is a sin and it is a crime. We are the ones as ­Christians who must stand up and say, corruption, we will never ­accept it, because it is a sin. It is a crime.”

Ramaphosa also urged the ­congregation to read the National Development Plan and know it as well as they do the Constitution.

He urged them to play their part in its implementation.

“It is only when we play our part that we can say to President (Jacob) Zuma you play your part as well, because we are playing our part.

“It is only then that we can say to politicians, you are not doing things correctly because we are playing our part. I always say to people: ‘You do your job, I do mine’,” he said.

Ramaphosa also emphasised the closeness between the church and the founding of the ANC in 1912.

He said the church was in the ANC’s “DNA” and the reason the party still had the position of chaplain-general in its office was to ensure that “the ANC stays close to God’s light” and does ­everything “in accordance with what God prescribes”.

Ramaphosa joked with African Christian Democratic Party leader Kenneth Meshoe, who spoke just before him, about being at ­university together.

Ramaphosa said he was ­Meshoe’s leader in the Student Christian Union and taught him all he knew about delivering ­sermons and speeches.

Ramaphosa was standing in for Zuma at the ceremony and apologised that the country’s president was busy elsewhere.

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