Friday the 16th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

South African bishops: Zuma resignation would not solve all problems

Corruption must be rooted out at every level of government in South Africa, said the country’s Catholic bishops.

They said while they respected calls for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma, ‘such a step would not in itself be a complete solution’.

Zuma faced widespread calls to resign after he fired Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a move that saw South Africa’s credit rating downgraded to junk status.

In a statement released on 3rd April, the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference said leaders of the ruling party ‘must make serious and strenuous efforts to end corruption and patronage at all levels of governance’.

The bishops are concerned about Zuma’s decision-making process and his motivation for shuffling the Cabinet, said the statement issued by Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, conference president.

South Africa’s democratically elected government ‘is entrusted with the task of governance,’ and decisions made by those not elected to public office pose a ‘threat to the democratic process,’ the statement said.

Picture: Demonstrators protest against South African President Jacob Zuma’s firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan outside Parliament on 31st March in Cape Town. (CNS photo/Mike Hutchings, Reuters).