Kairos SA statement in support of Archbishop-emeritus Tutu

 

Kairos Southern Africa statement in support of Archbishop-emeritus Desmond Tutu:

5 October 2011

Yesterday’s statement by Archbishop-emeritus Tutu is more
than a statement of anger and frustration: it is a prophetic statement in the
spirit of the Old Testament prophets and of Jesus Christ himself, who expressed
woes over those who thought they could flout the will of God. That it was made
on the day that we celebrated St Francis of Assisi is also significant – St
Francis is one who identified himself completely with those who are most on the
margins of society.

Kairos Southern Africa hereby expresses our utmost support
for Archbishop-emeritus Tutu and hereby also wish him all God’s blessings and
joy on his 80th Birthday. Arch, you are a blessing to South Africa
and no-one can take that away from you, and we salute you and stand with you.

Governments across the world, and especially the South
African government, must understand that the Holy Spirit moves among the
people, and we saw this most vividly in the mass movement of people in Egypt
earlier this year. This is an unstoppable movement that no government can stop
and must serve as a warning to all governments.

We saw this in the mid 1980s in South Africa when a Kairos
was declared against apartheid, and we are slowly beginning to again see such a
movement in South Africa today.

This latest action by the South African government – to
deliberately drag its feet on communicating its decision on whether or not to
grant the Dalai Lama a visa – is more profound than just going against our
Constitution. It also calls into question the very act of voting in South
Africa: China has never been on our ballot in South Africa and now it seems to
be dictating whom we may or may not invite to our country…..we repeat: our
country; the one that many of us struggled for, that many of us went to
prison for, that many of our people died for.

This action by government also calls into question our vote –
the one we struggled for, went to prison for, what many of our people died for.
There is already so much cynicism about the idea of voting in our communities
and this act will simply increase that cynicism until we have what is
effectively a minority elite government, not representing the majority of the
people in this country.

This is a serious turning point for us. We see that the
worship of Mammon has become more important than sound moral values. We cannot
and will not teach this to our children and young people, and therefore those
who implement this do not represent us.

It is also a dangerous moment in South Africa, and Kairos
Southern Africa will continue to work with all progressive civil society
formations to ensure that our country retain the freedoms we have fought
for. We view with utter repugnance how our values are being eroded by the
present government in South Africa. What happened this time was but one
manifestation of this, and we say a loud and clear NO to this.

Besides apologising, the South
African government has the duty to uphold our constitution, one of which is
freedom of association, especially with those who are fighting for justice in
our world, God’s world. In the name of the God who continues to inspire us with
hope, especially in the darkest moments, we will continue to work amongst our
people to work and hope for the day when sound moral values trumps questionable
economic relations. Our country is not for sale to China and we call on leaders
in South Africa to hear this message. [ENDS]

For more information, contact

Rev Moss Ntlha   0828098533 or ntlharo@icon.co.za

Rev Edwin Arrison   084 7351835 or earrison78@telkomsa.net

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Wonderful post, Moss and Edwin. I read the Archbishop’s statement yesterday and it took my breath away. And took me back to so many times in the past when his anger burned and he gave it voice.

    Your words are inspiring and are spot on. This is the prophetic voice and spirit that must motivate us today, and that must confront the powers, be they political or ecclesial, that violate principles of justice and God’s law. This is the voice that must confront those other voices who plead for “balance” and “reconciliation” in the service of maintaining the structures of power that promote these sins on all levels of society.

    This is the voice that must speak through all of us, that must find its way into our hearts so that we become vessels of the truth we all know and act in the ways that we know we must.

    Bless your work as Kairos Southern Africa and the example you set for us in other lands — the USA, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and other countries where Kairos movements are springing up. We are all one body — we must strive to become one voice, speaking many languages, emerging from many contexts — but one voice: the one we heard yesterday and that reminds us who we are, who we must strive to be.

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  2. […]  As we move towards the end of the year, let me begin by wishing all those who will read this Kairos update a blessed Advent and Christmas. What a year this has been! We have wished the “Arch” well on his 80th Birthday and wrote a letter of support for him after he expressed his disappointment at the way he and the Dalai Lama were treated by the SA government. If you have not read our statement, it can be found at https://kairossouthernafrica.wordpress.com/2011/10/05/kairos-sa-statement-in-support-of-archbishop-em… […]

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