SACC urges South Africans to restore ‘the spirit of Ubuntu’ amid growing intolerance

The South African Council of Churches has called on South Africans to restore the spirit of Ubuntu amid growing intolerance within communities.

Officers from the South African Police Service (SAPS) are seen as members of the community protest against rising crime in the Diepsloot area of ​​South Africa on April 6, 2022. Photo: GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP

JOHANNESBURG – The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has called on South Africans to restore the spirit of Ubuntu amid growing intolerance within communities.

The latest incident is the murder of Elvis Nyathi in Diepsloot.

Nyathi was reportedly murdered by a mob who accused him of being a criminal before demanding that he prove his identity.

The attack came after locals took to the streets to protest poor policing that included dealing with illegal migrants who they believe have committed crimes in their area.

The council has since urged South Africans to use the Easter message to reflect on more humane ways of addressing concerns plaguing communities.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana reiterated SACC’s warning against vigilantism, saying that if allowed to continue more lives would be lost.

He called on South Africans to question whether the identity of the “street killers” was the one they had chosen to project for the country.

“In 2015 Emmanuel Sithole was stabbed to death in Alexandra, in 2019 Isaac Sithole was burned to death in Katlehong and now we’ve jumped on Elvis Nyathi to meet a gruesome death.”

The bishop said anyone with grievances should address them in a structured way, such as approaching the council with concerns and proposals.

The SACC was due to engage with government and other social bodies ahead of a national indaba plenary on non-South Africans in our society and economy.

FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO CRIME

Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse’s office said it would hold more talks as part of efforts to address socio-economic issues contributing to crime in Diepsloot.

Residents say the lack of streetlights, narrow roads and the sheer volume of people who live in the township have made it fertile ground for criminals.

Phalatse traveled to Diepsloot on Saturday following similar trips by Police Minister Bheki Cele and Interior Minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week.

The community protested unsolved murder cases and said illegal immigration was part of the problem.

Phalatse spokeswoman Mabine Seabe said she would meet with her team to discuss some of the issues.


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Steven L. Nielsen