Churches to stage silent prayer against Covid-19 corruption

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The SACC is set to hold a day of prayer against Covid-19 corruption.
The SACC is set to hold a day of prayer against Covid-19 corruption.
Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
  • Church leaders across the country will stand in silent prayer on Tuesday to demonstrate against Covid-19 corruption. 
  • Throughout the pandemic reports have emerged of corruption relating to Covid-19 procurement. 
  • The SIU is investigating 658 contracts related to Covid-19 procurement worth around R5 billion.

Church leaders affiliated to the South African Council of Churches (SACC) will on Tuesday stand in silent prayer across the country as part of their campaign against Covid-19 corruption. 

Not long after the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports of corruption began to emerge in relation to goods and services procured for Covid-19 supplies and services.

READ | Covid-19 report: 'Scathing report' made against Masuku, Diko

News24 previously reported that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating 658 contracts related to Covid-19 procurement worth around R5 billion.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is also investigating 17 tenders involving politically connected individuals worth R1.2 billion.

READ | Covid-19 corruption: SARS investigating 17 'politically exposed persons'

In a statement on Monday SACC General Secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said national church leaders had dedicated September to highlight Covid-19 corruption.

On Tuesday, prayers will be held in all nine provinces to declare that, "corruption is not our heritage".

"We will be in silent prayer because the churches are speechless at this level of revolting fraud," said Mpumlwana, adding:

We are saying as the churches, and active citizens, that we refuse for our nation’s culture and heritage to be one of stealing, and defrauding of public resources. Corruption, especially this blatant looting of Covid-19 funds that has been reported, is criminal and continues to cost us lives and livelihoods as a country.

READ | This is how the SIU is investigating Covid-19 corruption

The church leaders will take an hour standing in total silence, praying, and carrying anti-corruption messages on placards, with the hashtag #CorruptionIsNotMyHeritage.

They are expected to stage the prayers in front of various provincial locations, including the Union Buildings in Tshwane.

According to the statement, the campaign follows the moral call against Covid-19 corruption issued in August by six organisations, who call themselves the Moral Call Collective.

The organisations include the SACC, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Foundation for Human Rights, and the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

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