Anglican Church Responds To Zuma’s Call For Churches To Stay Out Of Politics


The Anglican Church through Archbishop Thabo Makgoba has tackled head-on, president Zuma’s plea for the church to distance itself from affairs concerning politics.

In his response, Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba spoke for the the Anglican church, saying it will ignore President Jacob Zuma’s call for the clergy to stay out of politics.

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The archbishop also likened Zuma’s request to what was obtainable in the past. He couldn’t believe that the president would make such request at this stage of the country’s democracy.

Thus, in his Christmas sermon on Sunday, the Archbishop lambasted Zuma in front of a congregation attending midnight mass at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

“Can you believe it?” he asked. “A president of a democratic South Africa telling the church to stay out of politics? You would be forgiven for thinking that you had climbed into a time machine and gone back 30 years into the past, when apartheid presidents said the same thing.”

In addition, he commended other bishops for refusing the president’s request to steer clear of politics. Armed with several reasons  why they much poke their noses into politics once in a while, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba blatantly told Zuma that the clergy will not refrain from politics.

“I am very pleased that the bishops and their chapters in the three Western Cape dioceses – Cape Town, False Bay, and Saldanha Bay – have rejected President Zuma’s comments and have told him very firmly, ‘No Mr President, we will not refrain from engagement in the political terrain. Our people live there, work there, suffer, cry, and struggle there. We live there too and cannot and will not stop commenting or acting on what we see and what, in our opinion, is unjust, corrupt, and unacceptable to God’s high standards of sacrificial love’.

“We in the church live in and know communities which are afflicted by the darkness of pain, sorrow, and despair. Our communities yearn for hope and the courage of leaders to stand up and speak truth to power. We hear the cries from those on the edges of our society. Mr president, we will ignore your call, made from the palaces of power where you and your fellow leaders live in comfort. We will lament and ask God, ‘Where are you, God, when your people are marginalised and excluded?’ We will continue to wage the new struggle – the struggle for equality of opportunity, for equality of outcome, and to end economic inequities, especially those created by skewed access to resources, health, and education.”

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Also, Makgoba prophesied eminent doom for the ruling party which is now at war with itself. However, he didn’t extend the same fate to South Africa’s democracy which he said cannot be broken. With a sound Constitution, resilient institutions, especially the Constitutional Court and the many straightforward and hard-working public servants we have, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba is positive the country will continue to excel.