An appeal for peaceful and fair elections
On 8th May, our nation will head to the polls for our sixth general elections. The exercise of the right to vote is a both sacred and moral duty. Many people suffered and died to enable us to exercise the vote.
Fellow South Africans, brothers and sisters, we beg you in the name of our common humanity and spiritual values to behave peacefully before, during and after the elections.
Each citizen has a “grave responsibility to create the environment of tolerance and acceptance which enables every South African to support and vote for the party that they choose, without fear of violence and intimidation.” (2019 Pastoral letter).
We condemn all acts of violence. Violence has always achieved only destruction not construction, kindling of passions not pacification, the accumulation of hate and ruin, not the reconciliation of the contending parties. It has always reduced people to the difficult task of rebuilding, after sad experience, on ruins of discord.
We also challenge the political leaders “to refrain from inflammatory, intimidating and inappropriate statements”, “to take visible, decisive action when candidates and their supporters are involved in acts of intolerance, intimidation, harassment and disturbance”, and to ensure that they respect the electoral process and subsequent results.
We need to pray earnestly and intercede for our nation during the coming electoral activities: before we vote, as we vote, and after we vote for the common good.
Statement of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Bishop S. Sipuka
For more information kindly contact Archbishop W. Slattery (SACBC Spokesperson): +27 83 468 5473