Faith Leaders Condemn South Africa’s Violence, Say “this is totally unacceptable”

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The leadership of KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) has, in a statement, condemned the ongoing violence in the South African Province saying the destruction of property witnessed during protests is “totally unacceptable.”

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms possible the violence that has wreaked havoc in our province; destroying property, infrastructure and businesses, intimidating innocent people and causing widespread fear and anxiety. We state that this is totally unacceptable and cannot, under any circumstances be tolerated,” KZNCC representatives say in the Monday, July 12 statement. 

The Christian leaders further note that the wave of violence in the Province and other neighboring South African Provinces has been caused by “different viewpoints and opinions” that need to be urgently harmonized through dialogue. 

“We appreciate that people have different viewpoints and opinions on the socio-political issues of the day. We therefore urgently call for dialogue and practical intervention from all parties and stakeholders rather than violence,” they say.

The protests, which were reportedly triggered by the jailing of former president Jacob Zuma for contempt of court seem to have unearthed economic inequality and a widening gap between the rich and the poor  in the Southern African nation. 


According to a World Bank report, 20 percent of the total population in South Africa are in control of 70 percent of the total resources of the country. 

In their July 12 statement, KZNCC representatives express concerns about “historic inequality” in the country and call the government to intervene and “urgently address” the gap. 

“We are concerned and anxious about the level of historic inequality we continue to experience today. We call upon the government to urgently address the glaring and immoral chasm between the rich and the poor in margins,” they said, further calling for political and community leaders to work towards restoration of calm in the country. 

The representatives of the church forum that is chaired by immediate former Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban, Wilfred Cardinal Napier, also call upon faith leaders in the affected Provinces to provide support to government and elected officials in the quest to calm the violence. 

The “destitute” situation amid violence has been “amplified” by the rise in the country’s infections and spread of COVID-19, they say.

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“The government, the faith, business sector and civil society together have an urgent role to play in responding to those who are destitute and hungry; a situation which has only been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months.,” the church leaders say.

They add, “Poverty and dire hunger cannot be ignored and must be addressed immediately. Leaving these realities unaddressed is not only immoral but will also prepare fertile ground for unrest.”

The faith leaders further call for the protection of those most affected by the violence saying, “Let us do everything possible to protect children, the elderly, the sick and the vulnerable by actions which build faith, hope and love in the world around us.”