Corruption corrodes hope. Nelson Mandela, at the opening of Parliament in 1999 said: “Our hope for the future depends on our resolution as a nation in dealing with the scourge of corruption.” In 1994 19.7 million South Africans took part in elections that paved the way towards a new democratic dispensation and a new constitution for our country. These elections brought new hope, vibrancy and unity to our beautiful land. Sadly, though, twenty years later, corruption is hanging like a dark cloud over us and threaten the great hopes and expectations we had. Of course, the visions and hopes we labour for invariably does not come overnight. It takes time, patience and courage and strong leadership. The task of us as communities of faith is to keep the flame of hope alive even when dark clouds threaten to extinguish it. Therefore, we, Unitarians, joined with others on Wednesday to protest against the scourge of corruption in our country. We are thankful for the courageous speech, archbishop Mogaba, made in front of parliament.
Psychologist, Eric Fromm, observed: “To hope means to be ready at every moment for that which is not yet born, and yet not become desperate if there is no birth in our lifetime. Those whose hope is weak settle for comfort or for violence, those whose hope is strong see and cherish signs of new life and are ready every moment to help the birth of that which is ready to be born.” Do will still have hope for our country, its people and its future? Or did we settle for either comfort or violence? Unitarian-Universalist Minister, Clinton Lee Scott, who signed both Humanist Manifest I & II, said: “It is always easier to pay homage to prophets than to heed the direction of their vision.” Lets not just pay homage to those who struggled for freedom in our past, but let us learn from them and follow their example. With social activist, Dorothy Day, we wish to say: “No one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless. There's too much work to do.” We will therefore join again with faith communities, social activists and the labour unions on Wednesday, 14 October to keep the flame of hope and the possibility of transformation in our country alive.
Rev Roux Malan
Minister: Cape Town Unitarian Church