Pastor Xola Skosana silenced

2015-11-26 06:00

Spiritual leaders have always been a constant feature in trying times.

During Apartheid, it was such leaders that became moral anchors to young people.

During the recent wave youth resistance re: #RhodesMustFall and the still raging #FeesMustFall movements, the students have found solace in Pastor Xola Skosana as their moral compass and spiritual beacon during their hour of need.

His position and purpose is made precarious by sinister powers who are out to thwart and demonise the student resistance.

It can be confirmed that Pastor Xola Skosana has been suspended, without pay, from his job as chaplain at the Air Force and has also been banned from the University of the Western Cape where he was commissioned as mediator by the Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum with the support of its patron, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

On both occasions there has been no written correspondence to Pastor Skosana stipulating the grounds on which such drastic measures were taken.

Like some of the spiritual leaders of the mid 80s who dared to speak truth to power, Pastor Skosana finds himself under the scrutinizing eye that paints him as the instigator of violence and anarchy, accusations aimed at giving credence to some ‘third party’ conspiracy.

A leaked email doing the rounds on Facebook speaks to the smear campaign against him and against students rising up against fees and the oppressive nature of them to their academic progress.

Credit for these historic student protests that are taking place at UWC, and across the country, is due to the courageous and selfless students of the #UWCFeesWillFall, #EndOfOutsourcing and #FeesMustFall movement.

Theirs is a just and noble cause; the struggle for free quality education and the end of outsourcing.

The role of Pastor Skosana has been to give spiritual sanction and moral support to the worthy struggle for equal access to opportunities and the end of exploitative labour conditions.

These restrictions against Pastor Xola Skosana are not only a violation of his constitutional rights and an unsubstantiated defamation to his character but seek to undermine the efforts of young people calling for their emancipation in a similar vein between the apartheid South Africa of the 80s and the Youth of the day.

It comes as a psychological blow to the youth in a country where education is at a high premium and is not accessible by all at tertiary level and rates of literacy leaves the country still talking of scarce skills 21 years into a new dispensation.

The restriction of Pastor Skosana undermines the Black Struggle for emancipation in a similar way that undermines Blackness throughout the globe.

Places like West Papua are in a perpetual state of Apartheid and the youth speaking out against academic Apartheid are met with violence and incarceration.

We, the friends of Pastor Xola Skosana will not stand and watch while state institutions are used to silence and victimize our progressive leaders. We call upon all truth, peace and justice loving South Africans and people of the world to join in this call #HandsOffXolaSkosana. That the right of freedom of expression and freedom of movement be respected in adherence to our constitution.

Nkosivumile gola Friends of Pastor Skosana via email

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