McCauley, ANC links to morality debate

2010-02-25 23:12

Cape Town - The debate about a moral code for South Africa which was initiated by President Jacob Zuma will probably be driven by an interfaith group with strong ties to the ANC, but in which none of the country's foremost religious forums are represented.

In church circles this development has been labelled a serious danger to relations between church and state.

Die Burger heard from a reliable source on Wednesday that the National Interfaith Leadership Council (NILC), which was convened last year by pastor Ray McCauley of the Rhema church, may be asked to co-ordinate Zuma's proposed discussions on morality.

The NILC was established in July last year as an organisation consisting of over 20 senior leaders from various religious groups, but upon closer inspection it appears as if none of the foremost religious forums - such as the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) or the Jewish Board of Deputies - were approached to join the NILC.

A reliable source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Die Burger that the NILC is essentially a virtual organisation which pretends to be a body which speaks on behalf of all religious orientations.

"But this is not the case. Some of the biggest churches - for instance the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) in Polokwane - are not part of the NILC."

Last year, after it became known that the NILC had met with Zuma, the SACC said in a statement that they had not been approached about the assembly of the NILC.

"It would appear as if the NILC is duplicating the work of the National Religious Leaders' Forum (NRLF)."

Strong affiliation

Die Burger was told by a reliable source that the NILC was established precisely because the SACC did not agree to requests by the ANC to become an alliance partner of the governing party.

Furthermore, it seems the NILC does have a strong affiliation with the ANC.

The Mail & Guardian earlier reported that the ANC chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, and two other ANC MPs - Ebrahim Rasool, former premier of the Western Cape, and pastor Ntabiseng Khunou, an ANC MP from the Free State - are members of the NILC. Khunou is also the organisation's official spokesperson.

Earlier this month the NILC stood up for Zuma when it became known that he has an illegitimate child. The organisation asked in a statement that South Africans "forgive" Zuma and "move on".

Die Burger has also established that the NILC's media releases are issued by Motshekga's office.

Meanwhile, the interfaith organisations who spoke to Die Burger said they welcome the debate on morality, on condition that it isn't politically motivated.

Motshekga said it is not for him to say who should lead the debate about a moral code. "It's the president's decision."

When asked whether he feels the NILC should lead the debate, he answered: "Since the NILC is a civil organisation, I can't see why it shouldn't be involved."

The Presidency could not be reach for comment.

  • George - 2010-02-26 07:24

    I wonder if they will start with Zuma

  • Tersea Gouws - 2010-02-26 07:32

    Hahahahaaaa. The best story this week. The blind leading the blind. The man who uses the church as his personal piggy bank and marriage as a less-than-sacred institution, plus our President. Leading the nation towards moral enlightenment. Life in SA is like a soap opera, every day more exciting, dramatic and potentially disastrous.

  • brian - 2010-02-26 07:37

    MCCauley's morality in his marriage leaves much to be desired. Perhaps this is why Zuma has chosen him???

  • Hannes - 2010-02-26 07:51

    Both have enough personal experience with moral dilemas

  • Graham - 2010-02-26 07:52

    McCauley to discuss morality - surely this is a joke or are the ANC using him as their morality/lack thereof are similar?

  • adam - 2010-02-26 07:52

    How am I not surprised that McCauley is involved. where ever there is money Mccauley is there.

  • callan - 2010-02-26 07:54

    Zuma & McCauley debating morality....thats rich...!

  • Clive - 2010-02-26 07:55

    The immoral debating the immoral about moral codes ?????

  • Thando - 2010-02-26 07:56

    Of course, this NILC is a congregation of all the immoral people. McCauley is one of them. As the saying goes: Birds of the Same Further Stick Together.

  • WoW - 2010-02-26 07:58

    Ray McCauley heading morality talks!!! WoW, how low can we go?

  • gt - 2010-02-26 07:59

    McCauley is going to preach morality to me? You have GOT to be joking! (apologies to Leon Schuster)

  • Lisaman - 2010-02-26 07:59

    I could not take seriously any moral debate led by Zuma. His actions speak for themselves. Our ad campaigne about real men having only one partner is a joke. Polygamy and one partner only are just not compatable!!!

  • Kevin - 2010-02-26 08:01

    Pastor Ray McCauley, should really go out and learn something on morals first. As they say get your own house in order the start helping others. I mean a man that preaches the word goes out and does the complete opposite. Or just maybe he reads the Bible, interprets it for he followers one way, and practices his interpretation in his own life another!

  • Paul - 2010-02-26 08:03

    Though we most certainly need better morals and behaviour in SA, I can't help feeling that this is like putting a thief in charge of security at the Mint.

  • Anti Rhema - 2010-02-26 08:04

    I strongly suggest that Ray McCauley first clean up his own unmoral life and that of his church before he tries to sweeping other peoples backyards clean ??

  • Martin - 2010-02-26 08:10

    Why is a debate on morality tied to religion? Morality is quite capable of standing on it's own two legs with out having to be led my churches. It was religion that led 'morality' in apartheid South Africa, and look how that turned out! Having groups like this, led by the now 3 times divorced, living in luxury McCauly, will only lead us into discrimination again. Do we want people like this to lead this debate?

  • Concerned - 2010-02-26 08:12

    Yay! moral code debate lead by polygamist and a twice divorced man ....its time to leave this place!

  • Tman - 2010-02-26 08:12

    If really the biggest churches are not represented, e.g.ZCC, Anglican, Methodist,etc. then this is indeed window dressing and this debate will be politically motivated.

  • DV8 - 2010-02-26 08:16

    Well, I would certainly love to live the same lifestyle as Ray Mc Cauley. Rhema Church obviously pay "really well"

  • Ghost in the Machine - 2010-02-26 08:16

    I find the whole concept of moral debate by immoral men OFFENSIVE!

  • vetinari's lad - 2010-02-26 08:17

    Getting a charismatic (read: conservative) church involved in national moral agendas? Smells like Uganda to me... Goodbye civil rights, nice knowing you!

    M&G (4 Oct 2009) "Zuma had promised worshippers at Rhema Church during his election campaign that he would consider requests to change legislation permitting abortion and same-sex marriages..."

    Afterthought: why should assisting government be conditional on becoming an ANC alliance member? Bizarre.

  • Shabir ... the ShakeN Master - 2010-02-26 08:17

    This is a classic case of the blind leading the blind!

  • Deborah Meyer - 2010-02-26 08:19

    It is no surprise. Who better than Mr Mccauly himself to lead the group. He himself has no morals.

  • Peter M - 2010-02-26 08:24

    Here we go once again. A small inside group with no credentials other than chums with the insiders; with no mainstream leadership; headed up by the bling crusaders, Rhema Church. The Anglicans, Catholics, Methodists, Jewish Board of Deputies, did great work in contesting apartheid. The SA Council of Churches led the anti-racism morality, with figures like Alex Boraine, Desmond Tutu, as well as the brave dissidents in the DR Church. Zuma is scraping the barrel here and this won't have any credibility. Another attempt to 'please' and schmooz and paper over cracks. He's surrounded himself with yesmen and the formula is looking bad. No dictator, just a pawn in the hands of powerful greedy oligarches. We really are in trouble.

  • BJL - 2010-02-26 08:26

    A "debate on morality" which is "led" by either Jacob Zuma or Ray McCauly is laughable. I won't be lectured on morality by either of those two hacks.

  • Len - 2010-02-26 08:30

    I can understand why Zuma and McCauley maybe linked in morality. Neither one can spell the world, let alone live anywhere close to what it demands

  • Theo - 2010-02-26 08:32

    It is not a reassuring move when politics and state become intertwined like this where political figures, themselves the focus of some questionable actions in the past, form part of the 'supervision'. It is self-rregulation to the extreme and can only lead to a watering down, compromising and luke-warm entity that will not do anything for the face of Christianity. I don't see why this body should have legitimacy - the Bible is clear enough on what good morals should consist of. Rather they get into that than into committee rooms!

  • bigbigjoe - 2010-02-26 08:32

    Asking Ray McCauley's opinion on morality is a bit like asking Hannibal Lecter about liver with favabeans and chianti...

  • anon - 2010-02-26 08:37

    “Morality” is an unusual word. It is not used very much, at least not without some qualification. People do sometimes talk about Christian morality, Nazi morality, or about the morality of the Greeks, but they seldom talk simply about morality all by itself. Consistent with this way of talking, many anthropologists used to claim that morality, like law, applies only within a society. They claimed that “morality” refers to that code of conduct that is put forward by a society. However, even in small homogeneous societies that have no written language, distinctions are made among morality, etiquette, law, and religion. So, even for these anthropologists “morality” does not often refer to every code of conduct put forward by a society. Morality is often distinguished from etiquette, law, and religion, all of which are, or involve, codes of conduct put forward by a society."

    What exactly are they going to try to do ...
    Would be better if they just said they are going to define a code of conduct for the reigning president and all other political leaders

  • Nicola - 2010-02-26 08:39

    This is most concerning for me, as even if all the major religious groups are included, there is a still a major flaw in that atheists will probably not be consulted. I fundamentally disgaree with a lot of the "morals" of many religious groups. Will I be represented?

  • Peter - 2010-02-26 08:40

    I fully support an initiative to set up a moral code for the country but the apparent link (NILC) to the ANC is very disturbing because it sounds like some people are now trying to appease some faction of society by trying to find some form of moral compromise that would suite some of the parties. Truth cannot be bent.

  • tim - 2010-02-26 08:40

    Mccauley lead a moral code WHAT A JOKE , this guy has been divorced already and is HEADING for his second divorce, i seriously doubt this is the right man to lead a moral ocde, i speak under correction but i believe his first divorce was as a direct result of an affair with his current wife soon to be ex. This is like asking MALEMA to lead a code on Privatization of national mines. WHAT A JOKE

  • Louis - 2010-02-26 08:40

    Morality and Ray? Zuma? ANC? What a joke!

  • Themba - 2010-02-26 08:40

    That is like asking the Fox to look after sheep

  • Pat - 2010-02-26 08:41

    Zuma and Ray McCauly about "Moral Code" - ha ha ha ha, what a laugh!!!!!!!!!!

  • Numzaan - 2010-02-26 08:41

    McAuley's morality record? Talk about birds of a feather!

  • Bob - 2010-02-26 08:42

    It seems as no surprise that Rhema and ANC are linked. They have the same agenda... steal from the masses for self enrichment through speeches filled with empty promise.

  • Peck Koopman - 2010-02-26 08:42

    This innitiative from the President, smells of a diversion tactic. It HAS taken the attention of the Zuma "child saga", and cleverly focussed on a in-effective organisation such as the NILC. If Ray is involved, we have already lost the moral battle, with all the divorces of this "pastor".

  • TR - 2010-02-26 08:44

    Why include people that will appose you?

  • John - 2010-02-26 08:45

    How does a divorced and soon to be twice divorced hoodlum whose familly benefits from financial contract with Rhema, lead a discussion on morality. This is like the blind leadingt he blind. Is this how far we have sunk?

  • Tee - 2010-02-26 08:47

    The author seems to think we are stupid. you are sent to sow division and to present SACC which seemed so useless over the years of democracy. We the people would welcome the lead by NILC because it promises to be progressive.

  • Mr T - 2010-02-26 08:49

    Hahaha......what a joke. The ANC is now using a bunch of unknowns to represent them in moral matters, Zuma and Mcauley are 2 peas in a pod. The people that follow both these useless men are just as blind as the other, morals are what we are brought up with and it is not up to religion to try and show us to live to them it is up to us to do that. FOOOOOOOOOOOLS

  • WTF - 2010-02-26 08:50

    The hypocrisy of Ray McCauley participating in a moral debate astounds me. It must be because of his awesome track record upholding the moral codes of Christianity.

  • CitizenX - 2010-02-26 08:50

    Yeah right! Our dear Mr McCauley is the beacon of high morality. One needs just to have a look at his marital history and issues!His church also has one set of rules for the congregation and one for its leaders. Come to think of it reminds me very much of the ANC?

  • Ir8m8 - 2010-02-26 08:53

    Question: Are South Africans Religeous people when upto 90% of the people that i come accross do not even go down this road of Discussion. Where does the President come off making a decision that Religeous perties need to determine the moral fibre of a nation of vast diversity, of what i know about the man mentioned in the article, he is by no means as religeous as he pretends to be behind his pulpit. Does McCauley think he is South Africa's personal Jesus Christ, a very bold ego me thinks. I would have been more impressed if the president had rather chosen an accross the board spectrum of intellectual individuals from Life Experienced individuals to up and comming tweenies to establish what we believe to be right or wrong.

    Another question is where do the religions of Paganism and the like fit in, are the Christian "Redeemers" going to accept that Certain acts that they perceive to be "wrong" are acceptable to these individuals, what about Rastafarians and there special way of praise...puff, puff.

    NO NO NO, this is not acceptable and this will only bring more negativity around the issue, we all acknoledge that we have a morality issue, but to make it an issue that has to be dealt with at a "special" council is only demeaning and removing the responsibilities of the parent. Parents need to wake up and teach our kids right...dont let the goverment force this down on us.

  • Sarah - 2010-02-26 08:54

    Really???? McCauley???? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Twice divorced, squandering money collected by the Npo that is Rhema, and this is the man we look to for guidance on morality issues? My 4 year old has better values. At least he KNOWS it is wrong to lie, cheat and steal.

  • mojo - 2010-02-26 08:55

    Birds of a feather flock together. How many divorces/affairs has McCauley had and how much has he enriched himself through 'christianity' ???

  • BAL - 2010-02-26 08:55

    both the ANC and Rhema would work together ,both love money ,and have no clue about morality.These guys are so bad that for once jews,christians and muslims agree.

  • Robert - 2010-02-26 08:55

    How can this man talk about moral code. He does not even have one himself. How many times has he been married????. How much money has he so called"earned" as a preacher!!! some joke . Where does get his so called "high ground" he lives off other people given him money. His own conduct should automaticly excuse him from this group. HA HA! WHAT A JOKE

  • Moral corrupt - 2010-02-26 08:55

    That says it all.