DURBAN JUNE 28, 2016 (CISA) – Bishop Abel Gabuza of the Catholic diocese of Kimberly has expressed concern about rising levels of violence and political intolerance ahead of 2016 municipal elections and has warned South Africans not to take the country’s peace for granted.
“The peace that we currently enjoy in our country should not be taken for granted. To maintain it, it requires the responsibility of all citizens and political maturity of our leaders, especially during the election period.
The current levels of political violence do not reflect this sense of responsibility,” said the bishop in a statement sent to CISA.
Bishop Gabuza who is the chair person of Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC), has faulted political leaders for failing to show “a more visible leadership around pre-election violence.”
“We are disappointed that our political leaders have not been visible and loud enough in their condemnation of the recent factional violence and political assassinations,” he said adding. “They have not also been vigorous enough in disciplining their candidates and members who are involved in disrupting campaign rallies of other parties and in creating no-go zones.”
Bishop Gabuza has particularly condemned “all the politicians who are mobilizing the young people in our communities, especially the unemployed youth, to engage in pre-election violence” and has appealed to the young people “not to allow themselves to be used by the politicians who show signs that their primary interest is greed for power and government tenders.”
He further appealed to all eligible South Africans to cast their vote on August 3 and elect leaders who have the courage to speak out against greed and patronage politics, and called on all political parties to a day of prayer for peaceful election that will be held in Durban on July 6.