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The upsurge of xenophobic conflict that threatens to engulf the entire country must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Not only is the violence claiming lives, damaging property and causing physical injuries, it is also encouraging children to steal, loot and attack innocent people as a way of life. The Moral Regeneration Movement [MRM] believes that the issue of xenophobia is more complex than meets the eye. For some people violent attacks against foreign nationals is perpetrated by people who are uneducated, young, criminal inclined, lazy and afro-phobic. If hatred or fear of foreigners especially from Africa is the main reason for the attacks, how come hundreds of professionals, business leaders, academics, health workers, and researchers from Africa have never been attacked in suburbs? The pigmentation of our fellow Africans cannot be the main reason for victimising them. Social researchers have discovered the deep-seated reasons for the xenophobia are poverty, unemployment, and social deprivation, the scramble for scarce resources and to a lesser extent criminality, amongst others. It is also true that foreigners tend to display a higher work ethic purely to survive not because they biologically so inclined on foreign soil. Is the government or our home affairs in our country and foreign national doing enough to combat the issue we facing and are we as citizens doing enough to assist home affairs in eradicating the issue? And how?

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.The 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)

2019 marks the 43rd anniversary of the June 16, 1976 youth uprising, where young people were protesting unjust policies implemented by the apartheid government. At the launch of MRM in 2002, at the Waterkloof air base, delegates from all 9 provinces identified youth as one of the pillars that MRM should focus on. The youth are the ones who bear the brunt of moral decay. They are often perceived as agents of immoral behaviour or helpless victims who need some external intervention. They themselves decry the lack of role models and opportunities for right living.
Development of ethical leadership in students, is a process of transformation that requires able leaders to take it forward. Student leaders are and should be, perceived as role models to their fellow students and should therefore be persons of integrity, and good examples, who themselves continually aspire to set the standard for ethical and value driven leadership.
It is against this background that the Moral Regeneration Movement has embarked on a campaign to have conversation with student leaders in institutions of higher learning throughout the country. The purpose of these conversations which will be in a summit version is to address the following issues amongst others:
        o Violent students protest which end up in the destruction of property of the institution
        o Abuse of women in institutions of higher learning
        o Abuse of alcohol and drugs in campuses
        o Development of ethical student leaders


For an election in which cleaning up government is the central issue for the 48 parties contesting the May 8 national polls, there’s a lot of political mud being thrown. All the political parties claim to be best suited to wipe away the country’s ripe reputation for cronyism, private use of public resources, bribery, and state capture. Yet they continue needling each other over ethical lapses rather than focusing on promoting the policies they’d pursue if elected. Voters are lamenting: Who is going to restore trust in government? Who is going to clean up government as political leaders point fingers at each other with no tangible ethics plans. Lest we forget that in 1994 President Nelson Mandela decried corruption, conspicuous consumption, greed, self-enrichment, dishonesty, bribery, sexual abuse of women and children, drug trafficking and disrespect for others. Today we would add state capture and into the mix. Millions of people, more so than I can ever remember, are going to the polls with the issue of corruption on their minds, thanks to the slew of commissions dealing with a variety of ethical lapses. The many commissions underway have brought into sharp focus the unquestionable absence of standards and values that we believed were the hallmark of the first few years of our democracy. Current events in our country show that people are starting to wake up from the slumber of corruption. They are demanding better governance. We need only to look at the headlines of recent scandals and indignities that have comprised the integrity of our elected officials to recognise the need for better governance and oversight. Voters are saying we have had almost three decades of electing our leaders and every time we hold elections, a few of them stand out as promising individuals, but almost all of those we elect are just experts in lip service. Nothing in our government changes, the politicians win but the people never do. As a result, the 6th administration is going to be taking over with a cloud of previous scandals looming overhead. There is a dramatic and immediate need to return to fundamental ethics. Of course, for some, ethics can seem obscure, a philosophy debated by academics with little practical significance, tucked away between codes of conduct and social responsibility, far from decision-makers concerned with political power. Yet at the beginning of our hard earned democracy there was a sense of decency, a dose of discretion, an unobstructed view of right and wrong, an instinct about acceptable boundaries. But almost without notice, it all has been eroded. Those who have warned of the deterioration, were heckled and called fanatics and zealots. But just because the messenger is mad, it doesn’t follow that the message is crazy. Let’s face it – no one is without flaws. Perfection only comes after death. But leadership requires sacrifice, the willingness to subordinate one’s own desires and needs for the good of the people one serves. It is a pity that the stress of living with capricious leaders who lack integrity continues to destroy South Africa’s reputation and the civic culture. It also seems to be doing an effective job ravaging the national government and citizens’ trust. We can continue to lower our expectations and standards, or declare war on corruption. Certainly, this country is better than the cesspools in which it current swims. That is why the Moral Regeneration Movement developed the Charter of Election Ethics to help voters to elect candidates who are ethical, principled and competent. Through the charter, we are asking voters to think beyond campaign promises and to focus on the bigger picture. Whilst the first general election somewhat envisaged a utopian society, 25 years of democracy have unearthed the diversity of interests among voters. South African voters are savvier. Voting patterns no longer follow rigid ethnical or racial lines. Twenty-five years into our democracy the political landscape has both changed and remained the same. What has changed? The vote is no longer a means to remove an oppressive apartheid regime as was the case in 1994. It has assumed broader proportions; more political parties are contesting the election; a substantial cohort of young voters has emerged; voting patterns are no longer rigidly along racial or ethnical lines and the number of voters has increased significantly, peaking at more than 26 million. In contrast, certain realities have remained the same or have only changed at a snail’s pace. Gap between the rich and poor; disparity in terms of service delivery between the dominant social classes and the underclass; differences in the provision of quality education between the wealthy and poor communities; unemployment, especially among young people and most of these factors have a huge influence on the perceptions and decisions of voters. So, how are we going to arrest the ethical decline of the government while restoring citizens’ overall trust in elected leaders? Through training to encourage ethical behaviour. Leadership development should include an ethical construct that promotes the importance of becoming a purpose-driven leader. At its core, successful, ethical leadership is based on elemental ingredients of deep honesty, courage, moral vision, compassion and care, fairness and deep selflessness. One cannot overemphasise the importance of identifying ethical leaders – well trained, experienced and educated in matters of good governance. Popularity cannot be the main criterion for electing a candidate. George Orwell hit the nail on the head when he said: “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims but accomplices.”

Written by MRM chairperson: Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa




The Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) has intensified the ICareWeCare campaign in several areas of the Gauteng province over the past months. Launched in 2016, the campaign is run in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) with to encourage communities to protect and take ownership of public property located in their areas. “The campaign seeks to educate communities about the negative effects of destroying public property, such as schools, hospitals, clinics, recreation facilities, libraries, and community centres,” said MRM’s ICareWeCare campaign coordinator, Mr Michael Mokobe. During the months of November and December 2018, campaign activities were undertaken at ward level in Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng and the Westrand. Mokobe said the campaign activities included community dialogues, social media marketing, activations and the signing of pledge books. Pledge books are signed by members of the community, pledging their support to the campaign. The campaign aims to secure a million pledges by the end of March 2019. A total of 200 pledge books are circulating in different communities under the supervision MRM’s regional coordinators and community facilitators. They will be collected, verified, recorded and tallied at the end of March 2019. Dialogues were held in Ekurhuleni townships of Etwatwa, Vosloorus, Tsakane. In the Tshwane Metro, Mabopane, Memelodi and Hammanskraal also held dialogues, while in the Johannesburg Metro, dialogues where held in Eldorado Park, Poortjie and Soweto. On the Westrand, the dialogues were held in Merafong, Mogale City and Rand West City. These, according to Mokobe, were follow ups on dialogues held in 2017. The revisiting was aimed at to reinforcing the message, he added. More than 5 000 people, some of them representing community-based organisations, had attended the dialogues. The dialogues help in identifying and addressing the underlying causes of the destruction and vandalism of public property through the facilitation of community conversations, said Mokobe. “The dialogues promote local problem-solving and advance social cohesion,” he added. Other aims of the ICareWecare community dialogues include:

  • Foster and facilitate dialogue within communities around the concept of “people’s property”;
  • Ensure active engagement with communities on destruction and vandalism of public property and finding sustainable solutions to societal problems;
  • Create linkages between various community stakeholders and between communities and the relevant policy makers;
  • Provide a safe space for communities to engage without fear and to tackle difficult issues head on;
  • Help build the capacity that enables communities to take ownership of this dialogue process.

Mokobe said communities were raising various issues during the dialogues and complaining about apathy on the part of the authorities to address them. “There is anger and frustration due to a lack of constant responsiveness to service delivery challenges,” said Mokobe, summarizing the views expressed by communities in the various engagements. Persisting service delivery issues, housing (RDP Houses), water and sanitation, electricity, corruption, roads, unemployment, health facilities, land and crime were among the issues being raised. Two ICareWeCare campaign activations were undertaken in Delyn Mall, Mamelodi and at the State Theatre, in Pretoria, to reach communities in city areas. On the other hand, MRM has been active in various townships, helping communities deal with issues of crime and vandalism. Following a break-in at the newly built state of the art Menzi Primary School, in Tsakane, the MRM convened a massive community meeting in partnership with the local ward councillor and the school’s governing body. The meeting, which was addressed by Gauteng education MEC, Mr Panyaza Lisufi, was attended by more than 900 community members. Following this intervention, said Mokobe, police arrested four suspects as a result of community members providing information to the cops. “This is part of the ICareWeCare campaign – to protect public property from criminals and vandals,” said a cheerful Mokobe. The campaign’s social media campaign had enlisted hundreds of Facebook likes, while the its Twitter page had registered some 800 impressions. Several dialogues are being held during this month in institutions of higher learning. It should be remembered that during violence that ensued in the wake of the #FeesMustFall protests in 2016/7 property valued at some R800-million was destroyed. The dialogues in several residential areas of the province are continuing.

The Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) has held a strategic planning workshop on 7-8 February 2019 at its headquarters in Johannesburg to take stock of its functions of the previous years and draw plans for the future. The workshop was attended by more than 70 people representing several fraternal organisations such as non-governmental organisations, the religious sector, traditional leadership and government departments. Chairperson of the MRM board, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, told the workshop that the country was gripped with some of the most severe moral challenges, including the Life Esidemini tragedy, the revelations at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture. The gathering was called to, among others, what MRM could do to achieve its stated goals, said office manager, Neo Chaka. Chaka gave an overview of the movement’s activities since 2014, highlighting the adoption of the Charter of Election Ethics, the Theologians Colloquium, the Land Summit, the Anti-Femicide campaign, the Madiba Lectures, among others. While having registered several successes, the movement had also faced some challenges such the repositioning of the MRM in the provinces and the establishment of provincial structures. Other challenges, according to Chaka were: The mobilization of all sectors (to be part of MRM’s work); Making the movement inclusive; Strengthening of district, metro and municipal MRM committees; Being under-resourced and under-funded, and; Lack of synergies with other stakeholders. He called on those present to assist the MRM in whatever way possible so that it can achieve its stated goals. Co-ordinator of the ICare WeCare Campaign, Michael Mokobe, which is ran by the MRM in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Infra-Structure Development (GDID), gave an overview of the project, saying it was aimed at educating and discouraging communities from destroying public property during service delivery protests. He said dialogues with communities on the subject, had been held in several Gauteng townships and institutions of higher learning. “It does not make sense that when people protest about a lack of water, they burn a library,” said Mokobe. Attendees of the dialogues were signing pledges to preserve public property. MRM’s communication specialist, Enoch Sithole, told the gathering that the movement’s website, Facebook and Twitter sites had been revived and would be used to enhance communication with members of the public and stakeholders. The site would also be used for the organisation’s crowdfunding drive, which will be launched in the next few days. Sithole said the MRM was working on an initiative titled Bopha Comrade, which was aimed at encouraging peaceful protest. The campaign would rollout in multi-media platforms, including a TV current affairs series and other above the line strategies. The MRM was working with stakeholders such as the SA Police Service on the campaign, he said. The participants broke into commissions where they conducted a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of the MRM and resolved at a subsequent plenary session to mandate the organisation to undertake the following: Re-position the MRM; Mobilise resources; Strengthen its communication function; Align itself with stakeholders; Hold social dialogues with communities on issues of moral conduct. The organisation will release a detailed report of the workshop in subsequent days. Closing the event, Father Mkhatshwa urged all present to continue to work towards achieving a society guided by positive moral valued.

The Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) today launched the Charter of Election Ethics, which is aimed at encouraging ethical conduct during the campaigning for the 2019 general election.MRM chairperson, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, said during the launch that the organisation’s mission was to promote moral values to which all South Africans can aspire as a basis for nation building. “As a civil society driven movement, we facilitate and coordinate programmes that work towards restoring the moral fibre of our nation, underpinned by the philosophy of UBUNTU,” he said. In 1994 Madiba called for the RDP of the soul thereby implying that spirituality had to be an integral element of national transformation. He decried corruption, conspicuous consumption, greed, self-enrichment, dishonesty, bribery, sexual abuse of women and children, drug trafficking and disrespect for others. Today we would add state capture. Our preoccupation with ethical values is not pie-in-the-sky. We also concern ourselves with issues of freedom, rule of law, unemployment, poverty, social inequalities, crime, land reform, coexistence, protection of the environment, materialism and state capture. It is this commitment to the moral fibre of the nation that prompted MRM to draw up a document on election ethics which all participants in our elections should adhere to. We identified 5 key stakeholders – namely, IEC, political leaders, campaigners, voters and the media. In discharging their responsibilities they should embrace the values of honesty, fairness, accountability, transparency and absolute integrity. This project was initiated in the 2014 general election. It continued in 2016 local government elections and also for 2019 general election. All political leaders must respect their opponents, show wisdom in selecting candidates who are committed to the Common Good. Campaigners must show maturity and learn to use rational persuasion rather than intimidation, violence or duplicity. Campaign agents should refrain from abusing race, religion or tribalism to win votes. The media must not indulge in destructive inaccurate news and unethical coverage of news, even when its sympathies lie with a particular political ideology or manifesto. To all the stakeholders our slogan is: ‘if it is ethical to vote, it is necessary to be ethical in voting.’ Participation in this 5th general election should be an expression of a commitment to the Common Good that transcends party politics. In the spirit of promoting the common good and upholding our shared values the MRM affirms that:

Voting is a right.

Voting is your independent choice.

Voting is a moral obligation.

Voting is an act of social responsibility.

Voting is a mark of human maturity.

Voting honours the memory of Nelson Mandela and countless others whose struggle for justice brought democracy to South Africa twenty-five years ago and made it possible for us to vote today By voting you are shaping your future and that of your fellow South Africans The MRM is not naive. We are aware of certain realities about elections. They are first and foremost a contestation for political power, influence and access to state resources. Many contestants have a tendency of taking liberties with the truth. In their robust encounters they usually indulge in hyperbole which is understandable as long as it does not degenerate into blatant dishonesty or even intimidation. About this particular election, the MRM has observed the following: Whereas the liberation election of 1994 was a simple choice between apartheid, democracy and freedom, this election is more complex. Voters have a choice among 260 registered political parties Whilst the first general election somewhat envisaged a utopian society, 25 years of democracy have unearthed diversity of interests among voters An interesting feature of this election is the number of young voters, especially the so called born frees. Our system has no block votes – e.g. youth, rural, women, black or white.Unlike old democracies, where voting is a periodic ritual, ours is different because we are still consolidating our democratic gains, strengthening of democratic culture and governance institutions, fighting poverty, unemployment and glaring social inequalities. In well-developed democracies their priorities are different. The role of money in our elections has become a big factor, to the extent that the dominant social classes will in future unduly influence the outcome of elections. Hence the need to empower the poor and less educated to use their vote reasonably. As we have done in previous years, we will work closely with the IEC, organised labour, religious organisations, civil society, the media and political parties to ensure the success of this project. For example, on the one of the 2016 local government elections political parties attended the launch of our Elections project and endorsed our project in writing. We call upon the media houses and institutions to support our endeavour to ensure a free, democratic, peaceful and fair general election and to do so in honour of Nelson Mandela whose centenary we are celebrating. MRM is ready to partner with you in hosting public debates and conversations to prepare voters for the elections. One of the most common features in elections is a propensity of campaigners to indulge in hyperbole and theatrics. The public enjoys political and vibrant political debates, especially when they are televised or broadcast on radio. They are fascinated by the cut and thrust of political engagement. Candidates of political parties are the public faces of their party election manifestoes as well as their policies. Regrettably the campaign is getting tough, dirty and even life threatening. There is too much at stake. Granted that politics is a form of warfare without a bloody conflict, the use of dirty tricks to win an election is morally reprehensible. People’s reputations and even lives can be destroyed. MRM believes there is always life after every election. Given our past ten years traumatic experiences, the words of George Orwell should be a warning as well as an incentive to use our vote judiciously. In his own words: “A people that elect corrupt politicians are not victims – but accomplices!”

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.

The Chairperson of the Moral Regeneration Movement, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, says he is encouraged by the way civil society is regaining its responsibility to hold the country’s leaders accountable. His statement comes after Friday’s Constitutional Court judgment. According to the judgment, the National Assembly has failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable following the court’s previous ruling on Nkandla. That ruling found that Zuma had failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution. Father Mkhatshwa says people must speak out when they see something wrong. He says, “Organs of civil society are speaking up, marching, which therefore means that they are making their voices heard and those in authority must listen to them. We have my good comrades who are veterans and stalwarts of the ANC movement, also saying not only are we concerned about the good of the ANC, our organisation, but the future of this great country that we all love.”

MRM spreads peaceful protest message.

The Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) has been interacting with communities in various parts of the Gauteng province spreading the iCareWeCare message of peaceful protests and the preservation of public property. Led by MRM chairperson, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, the movement has been hosting dialogues with communities discussing the need to protest peacefully and the nobleness of preserving public property, particularly during mass protests. The initiative is part of the partnership between the MRM and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development, which is aimed at encouraging communities to protest peacefully and not to damage public property. Local leaders such as municipality Councilors, Sanco, the clergy and youth organisations, among others, have been sharing the stage with MRM activists in condemning the violent protests phenomenon and pleading with communities to preserve public property, saying it is for their own good. Dialogues have been held in Everton, Khutsong, Daveyton, Tsakane, Magaliesburg and Midvaal over the past few weeks, with the attendance of hundreds of members of the community in each one of them. Discussed the scourge, Father Mkhatshwa has expressed regret that the 2015/6 #Feesmustfall protests had resulted in the destruction of property valued at almost R800-million in several universities. The protests were justifiable, “and we support them,” he said, but lamented the fact that universities and the state now had that huge bill to fix the damaged property over-and-above having to finance free higher education. “We understand the anger and the frustration over a lack of, or slow service delivery, but when you protest about a lack of electricity and burn a library, you have not solved the problem, but created another one. “This property is ours, for our use… If we destroy it, we deprive ourselves,” he added. At the Everton dialogue, Sedibeng Speaker, Cllr Melina Gomba, thanked the Everton community for the fact that no public property had been destroyed in the area during service deliver protests in the recent past. But she said the burning of tyres and rubble on roads had become a worrying occurrence that needed to be discontinued. She urged communities to protect members of the police, councilors, teachers and help stem the hijacking of ambulances. Cllr Gomba also urged members of the community to use the petition system to convey their grievances to the authorities. The event was also addressed by Sergeant Beverly Diphoko of the South African Police’s (SAPS) Youth Crime Prevention Desk, in Everton, who said the area was beset by a problem of youth drinking in taverns, which contributed to high rape incidents. Everton was ranked number five in terms of rape throughout the country, she revealed. Sgt Diphoko said her unit ran various projects aimed at helping the youth take part in positive activities, such as sport. She urged the area’s youth to take part in the said projects. Parents, added Sgt Diphoko, should be good examples to their children. Members of the community, who took to the podium, complained about unemployment, crime, poor environment, poor service delivery and a lack of responsiveness from those in authority whenever they are approached with service delivery concerns. “Protests turn violent because our leadership does not want to answer to our complaints,” said one member of the community, adding that they had used the petition system suggested by Speaker Cllr Gomba, but they had received no response. Guests speakers from several organisations, such as the Vaal Aids Community Organisation, SA Unemployed Youth Forum, Reach Out Community Project, SA Breweries as well as motivational speakers, Ms SJ Nkabinde and Mr Romeo Makutu, echoed the call to preserve public property. In the Merafong dialogue, members of the community filled the local Khustong community hall to listen to and discuss the iCareWeCare message. Father Mkhatshwa led the proceedings by delivering the message of peaceful protest and urging members of the community to protect “their” property. “A community hall, like this, may have been built by the state, but it’s for our use. If we destroy it, we deprive ourselves,” he said. MRM’s national office manager, Mr Neo Chaka, echoed Father Mkhatshwa’s

Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela [26 September 1936 – 02 April 2018). The Moral Regeneration Movement mourns the passing (02 April 2018) of Mama Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, an outstanding veteran of the liberation struggle and a committed freedom fighter. She fought apartheid and played an active role in the building of ANC underground structures, campaign for international solidarity and internal freedom struggles. She will be remembered as a passionate fighter for women’s emancipation. The Mother of the Nation paid a heavy price for her political convictions, her outspokenness and campaigns for the release of political activists, especially for Robben Island prisoners. Nomzamo was banned, detained and banished to a lonely life in Brandfort in the Free State. Throughout her chequered life, she remained a committed freedom fighter who championed the cause of the masses and the workers. The Chairperson of the MRM, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, on behalf of the Moral Regeneration Movement staff and Board sends his condolences to the Madikizela and Mandela families, her party the African National Congress, her friends and supporters throughout Africa and the Diaspora. “Mama Winnie was a caring freedom fighter and was always committed to the black struggles of the poor, the unemployed and poorly educated black youths. During the anti-apartheid struggle she spent most of her time tending to the poorest of the poor as a social worker and an all-round servant of the people. When she was banished to Brandfort, she also opened a crèche and a clinic there and cared for poor people. We will deeply miss her overall contribution to the liberation of her people and her commitment to a free, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa,” said Father Mkhatshwa. “We salute Mama Winnie and commit ourselves to honour her revolutionary legacy and hope that the people of South Africa will find a way to immortalise her contribution to our democracy and freedom.”

Rest in peace, Mama Winnie Madikizela-Mandela!


MRM chairperson Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa has called upon South Africans, particularly the angst-ridden youth, to protect public property and ensure that there is buy-in from broader society to support the protection of community facilities from vandalism and destruction. “Young people should actually lead the struggle against the destruction of public property. Surely it is in their best interest not to inherit ruins and then be forced to approach the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to raise loans to reconstruct their own infrastructure,” said Mkhatshwa during last month’s MRM round table discussion on the destruction of property held at The Reef Hotel, Johannesburg. “We come from a history of mass mobilisation around social issues under apartheid. Campaigns focused on challenges that were of concern to the people such as Bantu Education, the homeland system, police brutality and the dompas. We need buy-in from the masses of our people, especially those who are affected by the rampant vandalisation of public infrastructure. “The round table discussion formed part of the I Care We Care campaign, initiated by the department of infrastructure development, and now driven by the MRM. The main objective of the I Care We Care campaign, launched in Bekkersdal in 2016, is to galvanise communities to protect public infrastructure. Panelists at the roundtable included Mkhatshwa, Professor Gessler Nkondo, Reverend Coto Makaba, South Africa Police Services secretariat Benji Ntuli and Father Brian Mhlanga, among others. The violent destruction of public property during service delivery protests is a source of grave concern to government and has to be nipped in the bud, said Jacob Mamabolo, MEC of the Gauteng department of infrastructure development. Mamabolo said a critical and philosophical analysis, in the light of a wide array of panellists and community inputs on the subject of violent destruction of public property, was required in order to understand what drives South Africans to resort to destruction and violence. Said Mamabolo: “To have a successful campaign we must conduct an analysis or assessment of why do people destroy public property during protests … We must probe the historical factors, and interrogate the root causes of this phenomenon in order to understand why is it that communities express themselves in a very violent way and burn clinics and schools libraries. “We can go up and down, visit churches and talk to people and appeal to them to stop destroying public infrastructure and to protect community facilities from vandalism and litter. However, if we do not interrogate this issue, we are going to chase shadows.” Neo Chaka, MRM’s office manager at the national office, added that violence in South Africa has become the country’s “12th language.” Chaka said there was an urgent to educate communities about legislation and their constitutional rights in order to stop communities from resorting to violence when they had grievances with government. However, student and community activists attending the round table were not impressed, maintaining that communities often expressed their unhappiness and frustration with poor service delivery, lack of access to water, maladministration, and corruption through violent protests. An angry community activist told the roundtable panel: “We were promised services such as decent housing, free education, better health infrastructure, water and sanitation. Now those things are not there.” Another said: “How dare does President Jacob Zuma take our money and build his house in Nkandla. The money could have been used to educate our children. How dare he does that and you do nothing about it?” Nkondo told the round table that people resorted to violence because they are socially excluded, unemployed, landless and due to university policies that exclude the poor. “People steal your land. When you want to repossess it, they charge you with theft. Those who possessed the land are now being accused of theft of the land and land invasions. As scholars we need to expose the real fundamental sources of violence among our people,” he said.