Prayers for divine intervention against societal ills will sound across a stadium in Johannesburg tomorrow’ led by leaders of the African National Congress. Over 5’000 residents are expected to heed the call by the Gauteng provincial government and faith leaders to gather at the Standard Bank Arena in the inner city for the prayer meeting’ the government said in a statement on Wednesday. “The prayer is an invitation for divine intervention as our society battles social ills including rampant abuse of substances’ all forms of violence in communities’ random murders of women and children’ harvesting of body parts especially of children who suffer albinism’ femicide’ rape of women and children including toddlers'” the provincial Department of Social Development said in a statement. “As government’ we have always believed that the Creator would always guide us in all that we do. As such’ we have relied on prayer when we are confronted by challenges as big as those we face today'” said Social Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Moral Regeneration Movement chairperson Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa’ an ordained Catholic priest and ANC stalwart who has held several senior positions within the party’ will address the prayer meeting’ which is scheduled to start at 10am on Thursday.
MRM suggests a two-pronged strategy:
The immediate challenge is to restore and maintain the security of residents in the affected areas and to proactively extinguish the fires before they explode. Government departments led by Home Affairs must make our porous borders more watertight; as far as it’s humanely possible. An important element is also to tighten up the procedure of immigration and to exercise zero-tolerance against corrupt officials so that thousands of illegal immigrants don’t find it easy to get a South African citizenship or travel documents. MRM suggests that experienced interdisciplinary mediation organisations, interfaith leadership and generally neutral people must drive long-term solution. Through its Charter of Positive Values, the MRM can make a valuable and permanent contribution. Linked to this is the need for a national campaign to promote values of tolerance, peaceful coexistence, respect for human dignity, fairness and love for Africa and its entire people. mThe reaction of the international community through the xenophobic attack is extremely worrying. It means that SA must redouble its effort to normalise the situation in order to regain the confidence of the international community in our country. The Moral Regeneration Movement believes that the problem is everybody’s business. With our much-cherished philosophy of Ubuntu, together we can overcome this scourge. ONE CAN ONLY SIGH, “CRY THE BELOVED COUNTRY”
Written by: Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa (chairperson of the MRM)