Statement of the SACC NEC on probity and Integrity

Statement of the SACC NEC on probity and Integrity
For Public office include legislatures

The National Executive Committee of the South African Council of Churches, and the leaders of SACC member churches, meeting in Johannesburg, from 18 – 19 March 2019, believe that holding public office is the highest honour given in trust, to any individual by the people of South Africa through elections as mandated by our Constitution.

We further believe that precisely because this is the highest honor given to any individual in trust, the highest levels of morality and integrity are expected of those who wish to serve in public office. Leadership, therefore, must be entered into with deep humility and honest introspection.

We are aware that the stature of our public institutions has taken a serious knock in the eyes of our people as a result of the many scandals that have rocked our young democracy including, Nkandla, State Capture and Bosasa. This is a clear sounding gong of the need for the electorate to apply gravity and wisdom in their scrutiny of candidates.

We affirm our belief in the principle of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and the right to defend oneself in case of allegations made against one. It is our belief, though, that our standard for what is right should not only be founded on the standards of criminality, but must include morality and ethical behavior consistent with public trust. A mere appearance or perception of impropriety is a serious challenge to the trust that our people have in our public Institutions.

We note with concern that the candidate lists given to the IEC by political parties fall short of the ethical standard that must guide all of us. Some candidates named in these lists have been implicated in wrong doing in the public service; some are actually fingered by the courts of the land including the apex Constitutional Court, whilst others are facing serious allegations of sexual assault and acts of racism.

We therefore call upon all political parties:
1. To adopt a higher moral standard which transcends the standard of criminality, and invest in the future of our public institutions.
2. To scrutinize their lists closely so as to identify individuals in their lists who have any blotches on their conduct and remove them as an investment in the public good and a show of good faith.

We also call upon individuals
1. Of good will in all political parties to find their voice and speak up in their parties to advocate for high ethical standards of integrity.
2. Implicated in wrongdoing, to exercise serious introspection, and, guided by their conscience and personal sense of integrity, voluntarily withdraw from these lists.

Lastly, we call upon all South Africans to, as requested by the IEC, “scrutinise parties’ candidates and object if they spot anyone they deem to be unfit.”. We therefore urge everyone who will exercise their right to vote on 8 May, to not only respond to political rhetoric, but also scrutinise the character of the candidates by paying close attention to the names in the lists so as to vote in a manner that confirms their commitment to ethical leadership.

MCSA Press Release regarding Mehena & Sibanga recording

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa – Methodist Connexional Office

31 December 2018

Communique on Rev Dr Mehana and Raymond Sibanga’s Recording

The Office of the Presiding Bishop has become aware, through social media, of an unfortunate and distressing recording of a private conversation between Rev. Dr. Vukile Mehana and Mr Raymond Sibanga. The Methodist Church of Southern Africa would like to distance itself from the offensive and shocking utterances of our minister and state unequivocally that his views are in no way representative of the position of the church and its functional duties.

We note with dismay the blatant disrespect and portrayal of women who are characterised in a dismissive, humiliating and degrading caricature. The objectifying of the anatomy of women and its link to culture and religion is not only unacceptable but also equally distasteful.

We maintain that the opinions express are both offensive and highly intolerable particularly in our current climate in which women are de-humanised, abused and disrespected

This matter is receiving immediate and urgent attention and a full investigation is underway, the outcome of which will be communicated.

Released on behalf of the Office of the Presiding Bishop

Bishop Zipho Siwa

Contact: bongani@mco.org.za

0781315137

Click HERE to read official statement

Video on Social Media of alleged MCSA Staff member

1 June 2018

To all Members of the MCSA

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa would like to distance itself from a video doing the rounds on social media, in which a lady spewing racial slurs and obscenities is said to work for the Methodist Church.

We are still busy with our investigations but our preliminary inquiries have revealed that the woman in question is neither Methodist nor does she work for the MCSA

The MCSA does not condone the use of vulgar language or any slurs one against another, be they racial, ethnic or tribal.

The Communications Team

Click HERE to read official statement

OUR SOULS ARE NOT FOR SALE

“OUR SOULS ARE NOT FOR SALE”

Fellow South Africans, the actions of the Executive over the past 48 hours have had an immense effect on all of us. We, as fellow participants in civil society, civil service, NGO’s, business, and the youth of South Africa, do not condone these actions.

We acknowledge that:

‐ The time has come for all of us to unite behind the values enshrined in our Constitution

‐ That there is a duty on all of us to uphold and protect these values by holding our government accountable to their Constitutional mandate

We wish to dispel the myth that these irrational actions have and will contribute to our economy.

As a sign of our discontentment, we invite all disapproving South Africans to stand together behind the #BlackMonday movement. This coming Monday (3rd April 2017) we will all wear black in solidarity and use the tag to further the cause.

We can no longer be passive. Let us start the change we wish to see in our beloved country, and save the legacy that Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada and liberation leaders fought for.

Bishops Comment on Cabinet Reshuffeling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 31 March 2017 The Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) is outraged but not totally surprised by the decision to reshuffle the cabinet, as announced by President Zuma late Thursday night, the consequences of which are already rocking the economy. “The recent cabinet reshuffle has left a distasteful and gaping wound in […]

MCSA Statement on State Capture Report

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
8 November 2016

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa joins the South African Council of Churches in expressing our shock at what appears to be calculated “intrigue” in the goings on cataloged in the “State of Capture” report.
We acknowledge that the report is preliminary and inconclusive and that the Public Protector has recommended further investigation by a Judicial Commission of Enquiry. We support this call and hope that due processes will be expedited post haste. We find it very unfortunate that as mentioned in the report, the position of the Head of State is becoming increasingly untenable.

We call on all Methodists to commit to prayer and fasting for the nation of South Africa and all creation. We ask that Church bells throughout South Africa be rung at 12 noon for 7 days from Sunday 13 November, culminating in concerted prayer on Sunday 20 November 2016. We will, at this time, also pray for President Zuma and all those implicated in the report to interrogate their consciences and do the honourable thing by voluntarily stepping down for the good of the country should they be founding wanting. We acknowledge that in the event of their resignations, this will not dig us out of the political and economic quagmire we find ourselves in today but it will send out a clear signal to a commitment to a new dawn of statesmanship and political accountability.

We further ask all our members to engage in courageous conversations as we pray and seek to discern Gods will for the country, irrespective of our narrow and partisan political persuasions.

Statement released by the office of
Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

For More Information:
Contact : Bongie
011 615 1616
0781315137

MCSA – STATEMENT ON EDUCATION

STATEMENT OF THE METHODIST CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA ON EDUCATION

27 September 2016 / For Immediate Release

The MCSA at its 127th Conference, meeting at the St Georges Hotel in Pretoria, expressed grave concern at the crisis situation currently characterising tertiary institutions in South Africa.

“We as the MCSA support the call for accessible quality education for all and hold the view that the current funding model for all education needs to be revised as a matter of urgency,” said Bishop Zipho Siwa, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

We note with some disquiet the rapid deterioration of relationships between government, students and Higher Education authorities linked to the “fees must fall” protests and the seemingly unrequited student demands.

“We however do not support wanton destruction of property and are not happy with the purported violence that is allegedly been meted out against protesting students by security companies hired by the tertiary institutions at exorbitant cost.”

In a bid to be part of the solution, the MCSA proposes to host a national 2 day Summit on Education with all affected stakeholders to develop a clearer, informed understanding of all the issues and partner towards a concrete programme of action that will contribute to sustainable resolution of this challenge.

We affirm the work already being done by the church in particular the ministry of presence and encourage others to get involved too.
We continue to pray for the Higher Education systems in the 6 countries (Mozambique, Lesotho. South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland) in the MCSA Connexion.

Released on behalf of
Ziphozihle Siwa
Presiding Bishop, Methodist Church of Southern Africa

MCSA Press Release on Media Censoring

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3 July 2016

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa is greatly disturbed by the alleged media muffling that is apparently happening at the SABC as is reported in the media. Press freedom is a fundamental cornerstone of any democracy and suggestions that this freedom is being compromised is cause for grave concern. The public has a right to free and unfettered news and information especially from the public broadcaster that is the only source of broadcast media for millions.

Allegations by journalists working for the SABC that the public broadcaster is self –censoring and thus controlling what the public should and should not see and know are alarming. The resignation of the acting CEO Jimmi Matthews and subsequent suspension of senior journalists by the SABC has intensified the misgivings we as the public have regarding the roiling turmoil at the broadcast

By its very definition, the public broadcaster should serve the interests of the public, and it is in the interests of the public and public accountability, for them to know the good, the bad and the ugly. The public cannot be treated like a child who needs to be ‘protected’ from the unsavoury aspects of life or an irrational individual who cannot be trusted not to imitate what they hear and see. We as a country cannot afford to sit back and watch the public broadcaster be turned into a state or government broadcaster that will spout only that which whoever is at the helm deems fit for public consumption.

“I am puzzled and concerned by the dangerous signs and news reports we are receiving concerning the public broadcaster the SABC- we cannot sit back and just watch when one of our hard won freedoms is in danger of being compromised through censorship- we lived through many years of pain because the media was driven by propaganda and we cannot allow this to happen again; what is happening at the SABC must be investigated and there must be urgent interventions. We must all defend media freedom,” Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church said whilst addressing a Methodist women’s conference in Kimberley

The SABC’s role in fostering an accountable democracy and informed public cannot be overstated especially because its reach goes beyond our very borders to several African countries. So as a church we take a stand on the side of the constitution which protects freedom of expression and of the press. The electorate has a right to know what is happening in their country.

We therefore call on the leadership of the SABC and the Minister of Communications to investigate these purported issues without delay and intervene as a matter of extreme urgency.

Statement released by Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa

For More Information:
Contact : Bongie
011 615 1616
0781315137