Photo: Hymie Sokupha/WCC 2019

Photo: Hymie Sokupha/WCC 2019

On 25 August, a delegation led by the South African Council of Churches met with officials from the African National Congress to call for societal action against COVID-19 corruption.

The delegation urged all who live in South Africa to reject corruption and unethical behaviour. Besides the South African Council of Churches, the delegation included the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Nelson Mandela Foundation, Foundation for Human Rights and Council for the Advancement of South African Constitution.

A portion of the statement reads: “There comes a time when the moral depravity of some in positions of authority, and in the private sector, undermine the very notion of nationhood and the underlying value of public service. We are compelled to assert: This is not how we shall be known as a nation.”

The group called for transparency, accountability and ethical governance.“The governing party leadership appears compromised within itself,” the statement reads. Such a breakdown at this level of “prepares the ground for the moral decay of the rest of society, resulting in the rule of law being undermined.”

The collective called on the governing party and all political parties in South Africa to enter into a covenant based on a public commitment to accountability, responsiveness and openness. The groups questioned how the African National Congress can commit to “the fight against corruption while elevating a leader who is facing corruption charges to a provincial legislature.”

Calling for accountability and consequences for corruption and crime, the collective called for the establishment of an independent investigative and prosecutorial body. The statement said that the COVID-19 pandemic had awakened the world to the massive structural inequalities “both within and between nations.”

The meeting shared the sentiment that this awakening presents a moment “for fundamental renewal within countries and between the countries of the world.”

WCC member churches based in South Africa

WCC and COVID-19