Afrikaans churches withdraw from meeting with ANC

Johannesburg - A group of leading Afrikaans churches withdrew from a planned meeting with the ANC because they say the “moral collapse” of the government has made a meaningful dialogue impossible, Netwerk24 reported on Wednesday.

The NG Kerk, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Reformed Churches in South Africa wrote a strongly-worded letter to the ANC’s secretary general Gwede Mantashe, and other party leaders, in which they slammed the “personal enrichment of President Jacob Zuma”.

Organisations such as Agri SA and the Solidarity Movement also signalled they would be stepping out of the dialogue with the governing party, set for June 9.

The Inter-church Council (ICC), the umbrella body representing all three churches, said in the letter the decisive factor in their decision to withdraw was Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's report on the upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla’s residence.

Nhleko told reporters last Thursday that Zuma was not required to pay back any money spent on a new cattle and goat kraal, a chicken coop, a cattle culvert, swimming pool, dubbed a "fire pool", visitors' centre and amphitheatre, saying they were all strategic assets, News24 reported.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has since said that the matter may go to court.

The ICC said in its letter: “The ANC’s lack of moral leadership in this matter complicates the upcoming talks because the ICC could only address certain moral points with you. Mutual recognition of basic moral tenets we believe is essential for any future talks between the ANC, churches and civic organisations.”

The ICC cited as examples of the morality crisis:
-    Xenophobic statements against minority groups such as those made by Zuma about Jan van Riebeeck;
-    Statements from ANC leaders undermining certain constitutional institutions such as the Public Protector;
-    Contempt of court rulings that bring the independent functioning of the judiciary into disrepute

Mantashe said on Tuesday night he could not comment “on a letter he had not read”. He did not like that he had to find out about the letter through the media.

“This is wrong,” he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 598 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 7256 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 908 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.67
+0.9%
Rand - Pound
20.15
+0.3%
Rand - Euro
17.58
-0.2%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.48
+1.3%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+0.9%
Gold
1,713.38
+0.8%
Silver
20.97
+1.3%
Palladium
2,338.50
+5.1%
Platinum
926.00
+2.4%
Brent Crude
88.86
+4.2%
Top 40
59,638
+3.1%
All Share
66,095
+2.9%
Resource 10
64,234
+4.2%
Industrial 25
79,745
+2.9%
Financial 15
14,055
+1.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE