Eudy Simelane Lecture 7th April 2016


Ujamaa centre







Press release: Eudy Simelane Lecture, 7 th April 2016, Colin Webb Hall, Pietermaritzburg, University of KwaZulu-Natal, 5.30pm.

The Ujamaa Centre of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (in partnership with The Other Foundation,
the Pietermaritzburg Gay & Lesbian Network, and the KwaZulu Natal Christian Council) inaugurates
an annual Eudy Simelane Lecture on the 7 th of April 2016.

Eudy Simelane’s body was violated and her life taken because she was lesbian. This hate crime was
perpetrated by men from her own community in KwaThema, not far from her family home. These
crimes were committed against Eudy Simelane because of her sexual orientation. Her local profile as
a mid-fielder in the Springs Home Sweepers F.C. and her national profile as a Banyana Banyana star
were not enough to protect her.

The Ujamaa Centre recognises that in South African communities religious change is central to social
change. Those who raped and murdered Eudy Simelane would have justified their criminal actions
on religio-cultural grounds. The Ujamaa Centre contests these religio-cultural grounds, collaborating
with local faith-based organisations and civil society so that religion becomes a redemptive and life-
giving, not death-dealing, resource.

In the inaugural Eudy Simelane Lecture we will watch and listen to a video of those who knew and
loved Eudy, including her family, who will be present. We have invited Mmapaseka ‘Steve’ Letsike,
a friend of Eudy Simelane and a gender, sexuality, and HIV activist, to speak about black lesbian
reality. We have also invited Justice Edwin Cameron, an eminent human rights lawyer and
Constitutional Court judge, as well as a LGBTI and HIV activist, to address us.

The Eudy Simelane Lecture, like each of the Ujamaa Centre’s public ‘lectures’ will draw together a
wide diversity of sectors, and will provide space for discussion with the speakers. The Ujamaa Centre,
together with Prof Cheryl Potgieter, the DVC for the College of Humanities, and herself a scholar
and activist in the area of gender and sexuality, invites you to the Eudy Simelane Lecture.


Ujamaa Centre footer

International Aids Conference 2016

Faith in Action at AIDS 2016 – Spread the News!

10 March 2016

Planning for the 21st International AIDS Conference (1822 July 2016 – Durban, South Africa), is in full swing, and the AIDS 2016 conference promises to be an intense networking, learning, and advocacy experience for all.

The World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC-EAA) has now re-launched, where information on faith-based activities at AIDS 2016, including the Interfaith Pre-conference, is being shared. The website will be updated regularly, with new information also highlighted through Facebook and Twitter (@e_alliance).

Together we can increase the visibility and positive impact of the faith-based response to HIV by actively participating in AIDS 2016 – physically in Durban and virtually through all our communication channels.

Please share your news about AIDS 2016 with us – new resources, articles, and activities being planned for AIDS 2016 – which can be added to the website. Send your news to Sara Speicher at

Place a link on your website to, and share the link with your network to highlight coordinated faith-based activities.

If you are on Twitter, use the hashtag #FaithAIDS2016 to share your activities, resources and news.

Participate in the Interfaith Pre-Conference – consider leading a workshop, exhibit materials, or just plan on engaging in the rich networking and learning experience.

Plan on communicating the events and issues at AIDS 2016 through your networks. News releases, blogs, resources, photos and video will be available in advance and during the conference for your use.

Latest news on Faith in Action: AIDS 2016

Interfaith pre-conference

The interfaith pre-conference will be held 16-17 July. The venue will be announced soon, with the goal to have the pre-conference close to the main conference venue so that people can stay in the same accommodation for both.

If you need accommodation, this should be booked through the main conference organizers at

Global and local organizing committees established

The Global Organizing Committee was appointed by the WCC-EAA International Reference Group in January 2016. The GOC plans the Interfaith Pre-Conference and sets the overall direction, priorities, policies and related planning for faith-based activities coordinated and supported by the WCC-EAA.

The Local Host Committee was formed in 2015 and has helped enormously in the initial planning for AIDS 2016. The LOC plans and facilitates the logistical aspects of global faith-based participation in AIDS 2016, including the pre-conference, and facilitates South African-based interfaith input and advocacy during conference.

Committee members are listed at

The WCC-EAA is very grateful for the commitment and willingness of GOC and LHC members to contribute their time and expertise to make faith-based participation at AIDS 2016 meaningful and effective.

Interfaith Prayer Room and Chaplains Programme

The WCC-EAA is working with conference organizers to provide an interfaith prayer room during the main conference. Ten chaplains from different faiths have been selected to lead services and provide pastoral counseling on request.

Ecumenical Media Team

A small, professional communications team will cover faith-based activities and issues at AIDS 2016. Follow the coverage at
If you have any questions, please contact

Nonceba Ravuku (Ecumenical and Interfaith Consultant for AIDS 2016),

Francesca Merico (WCC-EAA HIV Campaign Coordinator),


Church Leaders Join Anti-Corruption March


Church leaders join anti-corruption march

Senior church leaders from a broad spectrum of South Africa’s churches today called on Christians to join the Unite Against Corruption march being organised by civil society groups for 30 September.

The leaders – including those from some of the largest Christian denominations -say their plea for members to join the march constitutes their first step in becoming more involved and vocal about justice for the poor in South Africa, and in ensuring that the country remains a viable state.

The Unite Against Corruption march will simultaneously take place at the Union Buildings in Pretoria and Parliament in Cape Town. A list of the leaders’ names can be found at the bottom of this statement.

Rev. Moss Ntlha, one of the leaders and General Secretary of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, today said the march represents the people of South Africa taking responsibility for themselves and for what is going on in the country.

Not the first time

This is not the first time that senior clergy have taken issue with current affairs in South Africa. Twice in 2012 similarly constituted groups of leaders wrote strongly worded letters addressing the state of the nation. This transpired at the time of the ANC’s centenary celebrations and after the Marikana massacre. The letters called for integrity in politics, social justice and an end to corruption.

“Twenty-five years ago we mobilised across the board to take responsibility for our country,” Ntlha explained.

“Nowadays people have simply abandoned hope as they feel powerless to change anything. We believe ordinary citizens need to take responsibility again to make sure that corruption ends in every sphere of society. This includes churches, civil society, business and government and homes where men abuse their power against women and children. This is a comprehensive call.

“Every person who marches is doing an act of repentance, and is calling others to repent.”

The most trusted institution

According to the Reconciliation Barometer, published annually by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, South Africans last year indicated their highest confidence levels in religious institutions and the Public Protector, and the lowest in political parties and the police.

On top of this, national research has shown that 81% of the population specifically regard the church as the most trusted institution, while at least 80% of the population claims to be Christian.

“We see this march as a time for Christians to take responsibility through confession, prayer, self-reflection; to turn towards justice and away from practicing corruption.”

Ntlha says the leaders are not pointing fingers. They are in fact taking responsibility for South Africans’ corporate corruption as citizens of a 21 year old democracy who claim to be 80% Christian.

“We acknowledge that many of our members are corrupt. So we can’t judge anybody. We have to engage in a self-critical way. That is why, for us, the march signals a call to repentance.

“But secondly, if the church does not use the trust levels that it has to call for a different way of being South African, of respect for the constitution and basic responsibility, we may lose the opportunity to stop the country’s downward slide. And from that we may never recover.”

Faith and action

The church leaders called all Christians and people of faith in South Africa to participate through demonstrations and prayer everywhere in the country on the day of the march, and leading up to that day.

“Beyond the march we would like to see the emergence of a responsible South Africa and we believe the march signals the start of that possibility. We dream of a South Africa where citizens are not only accountable, but hold others accountable, whether they are in business or in government.

“We realize this will be work in progress.”

“I am calling on the Church that we all stand up and say we will go to prison again; we will die again if any person gets victimized because of color, or for any other reason that contradicts our commitments to justice.”

– Rev. Frank Chikane, 1980’s


Notes to the editor:

Find the 2012 letter here:

Reconciliation Barometer:

The leaders who have issued this call include:

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, Anglican Church of Southern Africa

Bishop Zipho Siwa, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and President of the South African Council of Churches (SACC)

Past. Xola Skosana, Western Cape Religious Leaders Forum

Rev. Moss Ntlha, General Secretary of The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa

Past. Ray McCauley, Rhema Ministries, President of International Federation of Christian Churches and Co-chair of the National Religious Leaders’ Forum

Dr Frank Chikane, International President of the Apostolic Faith Mission International and Senior Vice President of SACC

Dr Mary Anne Plaatjies van Huffel, Moderator of Uniting Reformed Church of SA

Prof. Nelus Niemandt, Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Church

Bishop Ndanganeni Phaswana, Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa

Archbishop Mshengu Tshabalala, Ikhaya le Zione

Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Ethiopian Episcopal Church

Rev. Angelo Scheepers, General Secretary of the Baptist Union

Mr Michael Cassidy, Founder of Africa Enterprise and the National Initiative for Reconciliation

Rev. Edwin Arrison, General Secretary of Kairos Southern Africa

Rev. Prof. Peter Storey, former President of the SACC & Methodist Church

Rev. Andre Bartlett, Chairperson of Gauteng Council of Churches

The Rev. Canon Prof. N. Barney Pityana, retired Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, Grahamstown, and retired Principal and Vice Chancellor, University of South Africa

Past. Simon Lerefolo, His People Church and Chairperson of Heartlines

Past. Ed Ramsami, Heronbridge Community Church and Chairperson of Youth for

Past. Jean Symons, National Leader of Doxa Deo RSA

Dr Braam Hanekom, Vice Moderator of the Dutch Reformed Synod,

Rev. Costa Mitchell, National Director of the Association of Vineyard Churches of South Africa,

Rev. Barry Isaacs, General Secretary of the Consultation of Christian Churches Various other leaders are on board, and the sign-up process continues.

For interviews, call –

Rev. Moss Ntlha – 0828098533

Past. Simon Lerefolo – 0828229460

Rev. Andre Bartlett – 0832745745

For more information, call –

Miles Giljam – 0795742926

Siki Dlanga – 0738448691


//KE Communications, +27 82 747 7104,

Wartburg Rape Case


The KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council (KZNCC) and ecumenical organisations in KwaZulu Natal; Thukela-Mzinyathi regional Christian Council (TAMCC), KwaZulu Regional Christian Council (KRCC), Diakonia Council of Churches (DC of C), Midlands Council of Churches (MCC) express sadness and shock at the rape of a 94 year-old grandmother by a 25 year old man in her Wartburg home near Pietermaritzburg.

This barbaric act follows a series of recently reported rape cases such as the seven men’s gang rape of a 17 year old girl in Soweto, as well as the two young women’s allegedly rape of a mentally challenged teenage boy in Soweto last month.

  • KZNCC, the KZN Ecumenical Movement together with churches in KwaZulu Natal condemn this despicable cruel act in strongest terms possible.
  • We call upon faith leaders to pray and to pay pastoral visits to victims of rape, as well as to preach morals and a strong sense of right and wrong to the youth.

–  We call upon all people of faith to publicly condemn rape and acts that violate women and children.

  • We call upon all victims of rape and their families to go public and report to the police the violations inflicted upon them.

–  We call upon Magistrates to impose stiff penalties to perpetrators of rape.

  • We appeal to the entire province to join us in the Thursday in Black, a campaign of mourning gender injustices; the domestic violence, the murder of women, the physical and psychological battering, the verbal abuse, the financial depravation and all forms violence perpetrated against women. (Diakonia Council of Churches leads this campaign where everyone is urged to dress in black every Thursday. This is symbolises mourning the current perverse gender injustices (for details phone 031-3103513 or ).

The on-going scourge of rape in our country is a societal problem that requires responses from all of us in order to solve this pandemic. Our varied responses will contribute to the restoration of morals, ethics, spirituality and human values.


Bishop Mike Vorster – KwaZulu Natal Christian Council Chairperson Dr Douglas Dziva – KwaZulu Natal Christian Council CEO

Ms Nomabelu Mvambo Dandala – Diakonia Council of Churches Executive Director Rev Gugu Shelembe – Thukela-Amajuba-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council Director Mr Mxolisi Nyuswa – KwaZulu Regional Christian Council Director

Nelson Mandela – the Icon who challenges to high things

To almost everyone who hears the name Nelson Mandela (or even more fondly Madiba) the first thought is that he is the icon of what is good and true in man today. He earned his status by the manner in which he engaged in the long and dangerous struggle to gain freedom and self-determination for all the oppressed people in South Africa.

For his engagement in the struggle for justice for all, he already gained the respect and admiration of freedom lovers and justice seekers way beyond the borders of his homeland. But for me and many that I speak for, what consolidated his stature and gave him status as a world leader to be imitated and emulated, is the way he conducted himself just before and immediately after his release from Pollsmore Prison, near Cape Town.

For the sake of his country, and his fellow citizens, Black and White, he broke rank with many in the Liberation Movement when taking courage into his own hands he initiated negotiations with the hated apartheid regime. It says a lot for his powers of persuasion that he was able to achieve a breakthrough during the very time that one of the toughest hardliners, President P. W. Botha was in power.

Madiba’s efforts were no doubt aided and abetted by dissatisfaction within the National Party with P.W.’s despotic leadership style. That dissatisfaction led to his ousting by F W de Klerk who took over to lead South Africa into meaningful negotiations and an eventual democratic dispensation.

The calibre of character of Madiba, as also that of the chief protagonist on the White side in the negotiations, F W de Klerk, was undoubtedly inspired and enhanced by the massive moral and spiritual support of the hundreds of thousands of South Africans, Black and White, who took the struggle to a higher level – the spiritual – by the prayers and sacrifices they made personally for a peaceful settlement.

In a real sense, therefore, Mandela’s iconic status was founded and built on the shoulders of ordinary South Africans who transferred to him their deepest hopes and aspirations for peace, dignity, respect and freedom. It says much for Madiba that unlike so many of his peers, before him, around him at the time, and especially after him, he did not let the greatness thrust upon him by his people, go to his head. Rather he remained right to the end a servant to the project: “Set my people free.”

Achieving freedom for his people through really tough and at times brutal negotiations (I’m thinking here of the National Peace Accord, the several deadlocks over amnesty, the Afrikaner Weerstands Beweging’s (AWB) assault on the CODESA Talks venue) was one thing, it was quite another to bring together the followers of the various opposing factions in the South African political field.

It was even more of a challenge to bring into existence an environment in which Black and White could seek and find each other. His inspired use of symbolic actions – “High Tea” with the wives of (a) former apartheid Prime Ministers and Presidents; and (b) their counterparts in the liberation struggle; giving 110% support to the Springboks in the Rugby World Cup – achieved more than volumes of written statements, charters or painstakingly worked out agreements.

Yes, South Africa owes Madiba a huge debt of gratitude for his selfless service to his people (Black and White). But in turn he is indebted to those selfsame people for according him icon status by supporting his every effort to make South Africans -Black and White – a special people. For only a special people could have pulled off, with God’s grace and blessings, the miracle of 1994, which gave the stamp of approval to Madiba as the Icon and Symbol of the Nation!

+ Wilfrid Cardinal Napier OFM ARCHBISHOP OF DURBAN

Tribute to Mandela

KZNCC Tribute to Mandela

Our heartfelt condolences go to the Mandela family. Be assured of our constant support and prayers.

WE have moved into a ten day mourning period as a nation. The outpouring of love, respect and condolences is staggering. Why has such a man moved an entire country, continent and world in such a profound way? It is because in this man we have seen that another world is possible. Through his core values of unshakeable commitment to non-racialism; non-sexism; justness; compassion; forgiveness, and pragmatism we have seen incarnate glimpses of what every sane human on earth desires.

The mark of greatness is not perfection, but the acknowledgement of one’s weakness, limitations and being prepared to own up to and confess one’s faults. These are the marks of our former President Nelson R Mandela who has become for us in his twilight years the elderly statesman and parent figure.

There is no such thing as a self-made man or woman. We are all shaped by others and our environment for better or worse. The central tenant of Ubuntu is that we are because of others. Mr Mandela would be the first to say I am part of a collective. He was a true democrat. In the early years he was shaped by both traditional and Wesleyan values, a certificate dating back to his early childhood of his attendance at Sunday School attests to this. He attended Methodist schools like Healdtown etc.

Then there was the liberation movement the African National Congress that became a major influence in his entire life for decades He ensured that non-racialism was kept alive by embracing both those who were Indian, coloured and white as part of the struggle. Many would have called him a ‘sell-out’ because of this core value.

If we say we will never have another leader who embraces these values then Mandela, Sisulu and Tambo’s work would have been in vein. Such an observation would be disingenuous. There are many people among us who aspire to these values. Look carefully at our young people as they emerge as non-racialists and non-sexists human beings, especially those who have not yet been tainted by the neo-apartheid influences of their parents. This is the living legacy that Tata Mandela leaves with us. We celebrate a life well lived in spite of oppression and imprisonment. May we go into the streets and tell the stories of Mandela warts and all. For at the end of the day he was human like the rest of us and here in lies our hope.

Peace & Grace

Bishop Mike Vorster 1

Theological Reflections on Dialogue

Theological Reflections: The Power of Dialogue: A Model for Discourse around Land Issues

A series of consultations conferences and workshops were done with the communities of people suffering as a result of unresolved land matters. A document was drawn spelling out the choice of the method of dialogue to engage farm owners and land dwellers and workers. The document proposes a model of dialogue between parties on land matters. A model of dialogue is found to be yielding much needed fruit. Ecumenical theology is also pertinent to this dialogue as a way of resolving differences and that can be applicable to resolving land matters at a local as well as a national political level. The land belonging to God in fact is a possession of all for mutual existence. Humans have, now and in the past, misunderstood this and have personalised access, use and ownership of land. The political, social and economic errors can be corrected to deal with questions of land distribution for human service; reconciliation; nation building; harmonious living, access, use and for the benefit of preservation for progeny.

Ecumenical theology of dialogue: A model of land matters discourse

One model of reaching common ground on many difficult issues and doctrines, approaches and methodologies which have dominated ecumenical relations since the late 1950’s has been that of dialogue. Dialogue rather than debate, using reason rather than falling back on ideological positions has been successfully employed in many ecumenical circles of theological, political, social and economic discourse. We get out inspiration from the fact that dialogue at the end of it all remains an instrument of final resolve in any dispute including that of land.

In ecumenical discourses, comparative ecclesiology has been superseded by Christological ecclesiology. Concerning churches’ political doctrines on land matters in ecumenical dialogues was concluded to be of political, social, cultural, economic and theological consequence. The ecumenical theological common ground is that the land and all that is in it belongs to God. No persons or generations of nations have a theological and therefore inherent political or economic right to private ownership of land. The land is for common human care, use and preservation as long as one lives for the common good of all one’s neighbours in service to Christ and the realisation of the reign of God on earth.

Historically and missiologically, in the Southern Hemisphere, colonial settlers and Missions have by and large colluded in dispossessing indigenous people of their land, corroding their cultures, undermining
their political structures and subjugating the indigenous people to conditions of slavery and serfdom. In South Africa today some of the land belonging to the Church has been obtained illegitimately in the past due to policies of, or agreements and unscrupulous collusion with Apartheid rulers as events unfolded from 1652 (arrival of Jan Van Riebeeck), through 1826 (Voortrekkers), 1848 (Apartheid in the Church), 1913 (Natives’ Land Act), and then from 1948 onwards (Apartheid laws are legislated), to 1994 (land reform).

And yet the ecumenical movement in KZN is a proponent of the model of dialogue in seeking an amicable resolution which is theologically based in consideration of the political and sophisticated economic context in which justice and peace on land matters must be propelled and advanced in our life time – God have mercy.

Ecumenical theology as IDiakonia – service on land matters

The task of the Church is an expression of God’s compassion as an essential dimension of God’s mission in the world – “that you may serve”. This idea of mission as God’s compassion for humanity applied on land matters could be taken to mean that humanity can well serve one another and in turn serve God by showing compassion in the distribution of land, access to land, reconstruction of human dignity, and assurance of life in abundance for all as promised by Christ Himself. It is conceptualised that land is a Gift of God to all humanity. Land is meant to be passed from one hand to another as humanity play their role of enjoying this privilege of land possession – as God has temporarily had compassion on humanity to do so in good will for the wellbeing of all. The land is meant for service to all humanity and not for personal profit.

Ecumenism and stewardship on land issues

The Church must be involved in the stewardship of the material resources of creation (Ferguson and Wright (eds.) 1988: 435)[I]. “This means encouraging a wise and harmonious use of the natural order created by God, by engaging in numerous aspects of conservation and elimination of pollution. The Church will point to the creator’s gift of life for all which implies renouncing greed, and a restrained enjoyment of material goods by all in such a way that future generations will find life sustainable on earth” (Ibid. 435). The depletion of the material resources and the insatiable human greed is unfortunate and regrettable. We may
well decide to restrain ourselves and save creation or well knowing continue on our ways and see the inevitable demise and catastrophe of the creation that God had gracefully and lovingly given to us.

The Church shall therefore not be found wanting in taking care of the earth, the land, God’s creation; by exonerating and absolving greed, dishonesty, insatiability, gluttony, voracity, self-indulgence and materialism amongst us. The role of the Church is to see to it that humanity is moderate, reasonable, sensible and conserving in the use of God’s gifts to humanity such as water, land and food. The justice of God must always prevail when it comes to issues of land distribution, despite concerns over land restitutions and claims which may not bring a lasting solution. Land must be seen as no guarantee for individuals but a blessing for all generations, past, present and future.

Ecumenism and reconciliation through dialogue on land matters

“[The Church] has a responsibility to show what it means in practice to be a reconciled and liberated community in the midst of a corrupt, distressed and despairing world … The Church is to be both a sign and an agent of God’s purpose to create a new order where [‘His’] peace and justice will reign” (Ibid.435). These statements can be demonstrated by being principled, and truthful when addressing the land issue here in South Africa and everywhere where access and use of natural resources is a cause of contention. A formidable project of nation building and lasting reconciliation and peace can be built on a legitimate programme of responsible access to land and productive use of land for national wellbeing and preservation for future generations. (A fuller theological Reflection is available).


The process of theologisation is a continuum. In the this conclusion the process goes on only that in this short discourse we have reflected on the Power of Dialogue as a Model which can make a contribution is redressing the questions on land matters. The ecumenical theology of dialogue is recommended as a way of entering the discourse of resolving challenges pertaining to land questions. The ecumenical theology of diakonia is the service that dialogue can offer in the terrain of seeking to sort out human rights abuse on the land. The ecumenical theology of stewardship encourages humanity to take care of one another, progeny and the one earth the only gift of God for all without discrimination. And the ecumenical theology of reconciliation is the only soteriological hope in Jesus Christ our Lord and God.

[I] Ferguson, S. B and D. F. Wright (1988) New Dictionary of Theology. Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press

SACC Statement on the Lagos Church Disaster



September 18, 2014

The South African Council of Churches extends deep condolences to the families and friends of people that have lost their lives in the painful tragedy of the Lagos church disaster. We call upon all member churches and all people of goodwill to avail themselves to comfort and support distressed families, some of whom are having sleepless nights of anxiety not knowing the fate of their loved ones.

It is much to be regretted that it took such a long time for even the sketchy facts of what happened, were to emerge, says after the disaster!

However, we commend the efforts of the South African Government in working with the Government of Nigeria on this crisis and in supporting our families in distress. The conflicting messages on the exact numbers of the deceased are immaterial, whether we had lost seven of sixty seven people is not the point, our hearts go out for those souls and the families they leave behind. The national grief cannot be mitigated by the numbers. We appeal to faith communities across the country to use their worship time this weekend – in mosques, shuls/synagogues/temples, churches and all places of worship on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to uphold this disaster and pray for its victims.

Much has been made of the fact that people go on frequent pilgrimage to Pastor TB Joshua’s Lagos Synagogue Church of All Nations; and we have been asked to comment on the nature of his ministry. We do not think it is appropriate in the present circumstances to be analysing or commenting one way or the other on the ministry of this church and its attraction to people from all over. We wish to focus our prayers and support to the families of those who have perished or injured at the site of disaster, and encourage rescue speedy efforts for any that may have survived the initial crash and in desperate need to be unearthed from the pockets of air under the rubble.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana

Acting General Secretary, SACC 076 041 7244

Presidential Succession Debate

KZN Church Leaders Meet To Discuss The Presidential Succession Debate

KWAZULU-NATAL CHURCH LEADERS had a fruitful meeting with over 150 church representatives from all parts of KwaZulu Natal on the 20th of November 2007.

The purpose of this seminar was to mobilise church leaders to reflect on the current developments of the “Presidential succession race” as well as to develop a theological vision around leadership.

The panellists participating in this seminar included Bishop Lunga Ka Siboto, an Executive Member of South African Council of Churches, Bishop Rubin Phillip, the Chair-person of KZNCC. Christian leaders of other political parties as Rev. H. Mbatha, Rev S. Khumalo and Rev Z. Jiyane participated in the discussions.

Among the main speakers were speakers as:

Reverend Gugu Shelembe, Chair-person of Thukela-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council chaired the seminar where Professor T. Maluleke’s paper was read before presentations by Ms. Samkelisiwe Mthethwa who spoke on grassroots understanding of the presidential race, Bishop R. Phillip spoke on the KZN context and the succession race, and Bishop T. Madlala, Chairperson of KRCC spoke on churches’ understanding of what is happening.

Some of the issues emerging from the debate about “the leader we want” include that we want to have:

  • A leader that will make democracy work for all people in spite of their status.
  • A leader with integrity, who will allow debates, with good morals and ethics, who is not self-centred, who can take blame without pushing it to someone else, a leader with value.
  • A leader that can rise above the party-political arena.
  • A leader that can unite South Africans.
  • A leader that will strengthen democracy.
  • A leader that will up lift the poor and those who are suffering.
  • A leader who cares for people and is chosen by them.
  • A leader, people – especially the poor can identify with.
  • A leader that will adhere to the Freedom Charter.
  • A leader who will take South Africans to the global context.
  • A leader who may not have all the above mentions qualities but who is prepared to develop them.
  • A leader who can change our poverty to prosperity
  • A leader who is transparent, accountable and morally upright

Some of the challenges facing the church and to be faced by the church include the following:

  • The church has to be clear about a clear agenda to drive in relation to transformation of people’s lives.
  • The church itself must open up to issues and questions of good governance and good leadership.
  • The church must widen discussions on morality, ethics and value systems.
  • The church has to be more visible, and should be forthright in its prophetic and pastoral functions.
    • The church has to pray for the government.
    • The church is not the enemy for the government.
  • The church leadership has to speak out to the government authorities about good governance and good leadership.
  • The church should minister to leaders, regardless of their political affiliation and religious orientation.

Church leaders called upon all South Africans to exercise caution and maturity when making public statements regarding the succession debate to ensure that their participation in the debate is not divisive and destructive.

They also called on all churches to set aside some time these coming weeks to offer special prayers on behalf of our country, our government and our leaders, for God’s special undertaking on the presidential succession debate and processes before, during and after the Polokwane ANC conference.

The outcome of this “Succession Debate Seminar from the Perspective of the Churches” was that churches started engaging on this debate, prayed for peace, stability, guidance and smooth processes, had an opportunity to listen to the voices from communities and church leadership as well as from Christians leading other political parties. KZNCC is facilitating continued discussions and debate at local level in Ladysmith, Eshowe, Durban, Edendale, Portshepstone and Amanzimtoti. In these gatherings, a pastoral letter containing a theological vision around “the leadership we want” will be distributed for discussion.

For more information contact

Bishop Rubin Phillip : (031) 3092066 Phumzile Zondi-Mabizela (033-3454819)



01 July 2016, Diakonia Council of Churches, Durban

We, the organisations of civil society, faith based organisations, social movements and affiliated members to the KZN Civil Society Coalition led by the Kwa-Zulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC)  and Democratic Development Programme (DDP) announce the launch of the 2016 Local Government Election Observer Mission.

Our interventions will focus on the following areas:

1). Pre-election violence monitoring

2). Election observation

3). Mediation

We further recognize the importance of these elections and are committed to ensuring free and fair election in the province of KZN.

Endorsed by:

Community Law and Rural Development Centre (CLRD)

Democracy Development Programme (DDP)

Diakonia Council of Churches (DCofC)

Justice and Peace Marrianhill

Kwa-Zulu Regional Christian Council (KRCC)

Kwa-Zulu Natal Christian Council (KZNCC)

Kwa-Zulu Natal Civil Society Coalition (KZNCSOC)

KZN Community Based Organisations Coalition (COMBOCO)

Mennonite Central Committee (South Africa Office)

Midlands Christian Council (MCC)

Southern Kwa-Zulu Natal Christian Council (SKZNCC)

Tugela-Amajuba-Mzinyathi Christian Council (TAMCC)
















Mandela Day Prayer

DATE: July 18, 2013 (THURSDAY) VENUE: Howick Mandela Capture Site/Museum



KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council

PO Box 6191,                                                                                         50 Langalibalele Street,

Pietermaritzburg, South-Africa

Westgate, 1734                                                                                      Ph: +27- (0) 33-3454819 – Fax +27- (0)

33 – 3949965;

E-mail: ddziva


South Africa finds itself today facing an uncertain future. The revered international icon and founder of the nation, former President Nelson Mandela is in his last days. His example of tolerance and respect for human dignity captured the attention of many far and wide.

His emphasis on freedom, justice and equality for all of humanity, made him an international role model and landed him the Nobel Peace Prize. Voluntarily relinquishing state power after only one term won him many friends. The virtue of compassion that he espoused, won him many hearts and minds.

And now the nation is on suspense as he is in his final moments of a great life lived in pursuit of justice. We pray that this suspense and anxiety is well managed without plunging the nation into uncertainty.

This is also at a time when the life affirming values, ethics, norms and principles that he stood for seem to have been totally forgotten by many, especially those in positions of leadership. The rampant corruption, spiraling bad governance, self-enrichment by government officials and the greed of multinational corporationsis serious cause for concern. The increasing economic gap between the rich and the poor, the widespread and increased violence and rape of women and children in our communities, is exploding the myth that we are indeed free.

Does this place South Africa at a crossroads? The challenge is how do we instill and priorities those values and principles which Mandela stood for, in this climate of gloom, uncertainty and restlessness?

It is against this background that we propose a Mandela Day prayer service on the occasion of his 95th birthday, as self-examination of our part as people of faith to remind ourselves to adopt those principles that he lived by and stood for, and pray for the nation to rediscover those values of the father of the nation.


Church leaders, church members, interfaith community

Government officials

Foreign diplomats

Schools (public & private)

Business community


DRAFT PROGRAM – 18 JULY 2013 Focus on “prayer for the father of the nation”

MASTER OF CEREMONY – The Rev ThulaniNdlazi

09:00 Gathering and celebratory singing Amadodana
10:00 National Anthem Gathering
10:15 Interfaith Prayers for Justice, Equality, Compassion and Healing of the nation – Christian

African Traditional Religions

–  Hindu,

–  Islamic

–  Jewish

–  Bahai

Rev Ian Booth Ms Nomagugu Ngobese Advocate Ranjiv R Nirghin Saleem Banda Ms Paddy Meskin Sylvia Kaye
10:40 Special Prayer for Mandela and Family Dr Rev Simanga Kumalo
10:50 Update on Mandela Rep from Mandela Foundation
11:00 Gospel Hymn celebrating Mandela’s life Gospel
11:20 Cultural Dance Fusion Dance Group
11:35 Keynote Speaker on Justice, Equality, Compassion and Healing Ms Ela Gandhi
12:10 Response: Making Justice and freedom a Reality KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize
12:45 Universal Prayer for Peace Youth read prayer
13:00 Symbolism – release of 95 balloons and lunch KZNCC, UCCSA, Government


Supported and organized in consultation with:

Methodist Church

Anglican Church

Roman Catholic Church

Lutheran Church

Diakonia Council of Churches

KwaZulu Regional Christian Council

Midlands Christian Council

Thukela-Amajuba-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council

KZN office of the Premier


African Enterprise

World Conference on Religions for Peace KZN Interfaith Religious Council.


KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – First week of July. Some participants showing extreme emotional distress.

KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – Second week of July (Rev Danny Chetty (right) Rev Simpiwe Manqokontsi (in black suit), Dr Douglas Dziva (in red shirt), Dr Lucas Ngoetjana (looking at the sculpture) and 30 participants from neighbouring congregations.


We, the leaders of different faiths based organisations, following a meeting with the leadership of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal led by the Premier Dr ZweliMkhize have decided to issue this statement with an aim of mobilizing the people of KwaZulu-Natal and leaders of all faiths to join hands and pray for our former President Nelson Mandela, for the family and for the nation.

Although we are aware of his critical condition, we pray that he is at peace, the family at peace and the whole nation at peace.The resilience throughout his stay in hospital once again demonstrates his perseverance in the face of adversity – a remarkable trait of Madiba’s extraordinary life.

We have fond memories as the people of KwaZulu-Natal of Tata Madiba as he exercised his first democratic vote in Inanda, here in our Province, and reported to the fallen fathers of our liberation that their people were free at last.

Before his long incarceration, he spent the last days of his freedom here in this Province. The Capture Site in Howick will forever stand as a monument in memory of a man whose commitment to the emancipation of his people mobilized all of humanity to rise up against a crime against humanity itself – apartheid.

Despite his critical condition, we stand up today to salute a man who strode with grace and elegance among the great statesmen of our time and commanded an exalted place for us people in the community of nations.

We respectfully bow our heads in honour of a leader who was among us in KwaZulu- Natal during the darkest days of political violence, and persuaded the people of this province to throw pangas, guns and knobkierries into the sea and find each other in peace as brothers and sisters despite conflicting political inclinations.

During his years as a leader after his long period of imprisonment Madiba became a shining beacon of hope for not only the downtrodden of the world, but also a living symbol of the triumph of the human spirit against adversity. Tata Madiba deservedly won the Nobel Peace Prize and went on to lead South Africa as the country’s first truly democratically-elected President with dignity, honesty and integrity.

The world will always cherish the spirit of forgiveness Madiba awakened when he assured his former persecutors that South Africa indeed belonged to all who live in it, and that everyone could be assured of their right to freedom and security within the borders of this beautiful land. As he grew in stature from prisoner number 466/64 to President of the Republic, he became a father figure for not only his immediate and extended family, but also for all South Africans and indeed the whole world. During the past few years the world has watched with growing concern and bated breath as our icon’s life has became increasingly frail and illness has taken its toll on this previously robust fighter.

It is for these reasons that as religious leaders, working with the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal, we are putting together a series of prayers and activities in honour of Tata Nelson Mandela. The prayers will lead up to the main Mandela Prayer Service Day at the Mandela Capture Site in Howick on the 18th July at 10h00.

Importantly, the weekly prayers are aimed at celebrating his legacy and his values.In very trying times of affliction and threat of national moral fiber disintegration – where the values, ethics and principles are compromised – a call for prayer gives hope of healing and continued efforts for moral regeneration, RDP of the soul, reconciliation, peace, justice and a spirit of social cohesion.

  • Mandela stands for forgiveness and reconciliation. It is imperative to accept one another and seek to continue to be at peace with ourselves and the nation.
  • Mandela stands for reconciliation and peace for all;
  • Mandela stands for the rule of law;
  • Mandela stands for liberation of all people in South Africa black and white, men and women;
  • Mandela stands for human dignity, human freedom (speech, association, movement, expression and choice) and human development;
  • Mandela stands for transparency, accountability, integrity and respect among the peoples;

As religious institutions we are leading a call for provincial prayers inspired by the values and principles which former President Nelson Mandela has held up with integrity. We ask churches, temples, synagogues and mosques in KwaZulu Natal to:

  • pray for President Rolihlahla Nelson Mandela while cherishing and emulating the values and principles he so steadfastly and passionately stands for.
  • pray for and act in accordance to transparency, accountability principles and the rule of law as espoused by our wonderful constitution;
  • Pray for and act in ways that deepen democracy and freedom for all at all levels, structures and systems of our society;
    • Pray and act in ways that promote racial reconciliation and social cohesion;
  • Pray for and remind and urge each other to achieve the principles stipulated in the Freedom Charter.

We request your religious group to make special prayers each of the coming 4 weekends. For each of the coming 4 weekends could you please pray thanking God for the life of Mandela, especially the following values he stands for:

  • (1) Justice,
  • (2) reconciliation,
  • (3) Compassion and
  • (4) Healing.

We also ask that in each of the coming 4 weekends you spend 67 minutes reaching out to someone to exercise; week 1-justice, Week 2 -reconciliation, Week 3 -compassion and Week 4 -healing. Details of other activities will be announced through the media.

Finally, as religious leaders we commend the Presidency for keeping the nation well

informed about the condition of Tata Mandela.


Issued by Religious Leaders from the following religious organizations:-

  1. Anglican Church
  2. Lutheran Church
  3. Methodist Church
  4. Roman Catholic Church
  5. United Congregational Church of Southern Africa
  6. Diakonia Council of Churches
  7. KwaZulu Regional Christian Council
  8. Midlands Christian Council
  9. Thukela-Amajuba-Mzinyathi Regional Christian Council
  10. YMCA
  11. Presbyterian Church
  12. KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government
  13. KwaZulu-Natal Inter-Religious Council
  14. KwaZulu-Natal Inter-Religious Youth Council 16. World Conference on Religions for Peace

Enquires- Bishop Mike Vorster -072 4773618 or Cardinal Wilfred Napier -083 6175213

KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – third week of July



KZNCC FYayers for Former President Melson Mandela -third week of July




KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela -third week of July


KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – third week of July



KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – Fouth week of July. Rev Victus Mthembu leads the prayer service at the Mandela Capture site.


KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela – Fouth week of July. Rev Victus Mthembu leads the prayer service at the Mandela Capture site. Tapiwa Buckenham Dziva, Rev Gora and participants from KwaPata churches participate in the prayers.


KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela 18th of July- Mandela. KZNCC staff Dr Douglas Dziva, Jabu Sibeko, Bongi Khoza, Dr Lukas Ngoetjana, Sinqobile Ndlovu, Ms Gugu Zondi (from the KZN Premier’s Office), Rev Victus Simpiwe Mnqokontsi and Mr Sbu Duma(KZNCC youth desk) at the Mandela Capture site.




KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela 18th of July- Mandela. Dr Simanga Khumalo (member of KZNCC and lecture at the Universitu of KwaZulu Natal School of Theology) leading special prayers for former President Nelson Mandela, the family and the nation (see full prayer below),


Read to the gathering by youth during the Dr Nelson mandela Day

18 July 2013

At the Mandela Capture Site in Howick, Pietermaritzburg.

In the name of Almighty God, The Most Gracious, The Most Kind

We, the people come in prayer to the Source of all Justice, Truth and Peace on behalf of our cities, our Nation, our World.

We ask you: Help us to accept the challenge of AIDS.

To protect the healthy and calm the fearful,

To give courage to those in pain,

To embrace the dying and comfort the bereaved,

To care for the orphans and support all those in need,

Unite us in your love and free us from fear.

Make us instruments of your Peace Where there is ignorant and superstition,

Let there be enlightment and knowledge,

Where there is prejudice and hatred,

Let there be acceptance and love Where there is fear and suspicion Let there be confidence and trust Where there is tyranny and oppression Let there be freedom and justice Where there is poverty and disease Let there be prosperity and health Where there is strife and discord Let there be harmony and peace

Our world is sustained by 3 things: Justice, Truth and Peace

May we by our thoughts, works and deeds hasten the time when wrong and violence shall cease

That there may be Justice in the land, Truth amongst all it’s people and Peace established throughout the earth

May Peace Prevail on Earth! Amen

KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela 18th of July- Mandela led by youth from KZNCC and Inanda Serminary

KZNCC Prayers for Former President Nelson Mandela 18th of July- Mandela. KZN Premier Hon Dr Zweli Mkhize addressing the 1500 congregation.

PRAYING FOR NELSON MANDELA AS A SITE OF STRUGGLE: To let go or not to let go of him

Special Prayer for Nelson Mandela on his 95th birthday

Dr Rev SimangaKumalo

Oh God of our forbearers, God of Nelson Mandela and all the peoples of Africa.

We come to you this morning to celebrate the 95th birthday of our father Nelson Mandela. We thank you that you have enabled him to reach this milestone age.

We thank you Lord that 95 years ago when you created him you chose that he be an African

In your wisdom you chose that he be born in Africa, in South Africa to be exact. On the rural hills and valleys of the Eastern Cape. We are mindful of the fact that he could have been born somewhere else in the world, may be North American, Europe, or any other continent. But you

decided that he be an African. As a result he gave dignity to the continent of Africa. However we are aware Lord that he is a much bigger gift than to be confined in this country. He is a gift to the continent and also to all the people of goodwill throughout the globe.

Lord at this moment we pray for Madiba’s family during this difficult time. We can imagine the kind of stress they are going through, trying to manage their affairs to hold the family together and uplift the legacy of this great figure. What a difficult call for these poor mortals. We know this is not an easy call. We pray for his daughter Makaziwe Mandela (the matriarch of the family) and his grandson Chief Mandla Mandela. As they seek to lead the family to prepare for the resting place of our father guide them. Help them to find that position of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness and common understanding. We pray that they may be able to walk together in this difficult journey and bring the family together.

God we thank you for GracaMachel, his wife and the mother of our nation. She has been a gift to our father and we are grateful for the way in which she has been holding vigil next to his sick bed for the past 4-5 weeks. She has done this with integrity and dignity. We appreciate the moments she has taken to inform us of Madiba’s condition. She has given us hope. Lord we also pray for mamaWinnie Mandela and her part of the family. Give her strength to play her part in guiding both the family and the nation during this difficult time.

Lord we have also heard from the news this morning that Madiba is making steady progress in his recovery, even though he remains in a critical condition. We welcome and celebrate that news. However we cannot help but wonder how long, how long will he hang in there? These are the difficult questions that we feel uncomfortable to ask. We wonder how long will he be holding up?

We wonder when the inevitable will happen as it will. We thank you Lord for religion, because it gives us answers to the difficult questions of life, existence and death. At this moment we would like to ask you to help the religious leaders of this nation to help the nation as it deals with these questions that are difficult to answer. May our religious leaders not shy away from these questions by giving us easy answers that are devoid of the truth? May they shepherd the nation to face reality, no matter how difficult it may be.

Religion has taught us that death is not the end of life, but rather the beginning of new life in another realm. Both Christianity and our African religion have taught us about the afterlife, which enables one to exist without being limited by space and time. We drink from these wells, with the hope that when our father exits this world he will in another life, through which he will be with us in another form and continue to guide our nation to its destiny, where all our dreams as a nation and a people will become a reality. The dreams that all may have life in its fullness, where the frontiers of poverty, oppression, corruption and lack of democracy will be pushed.Where freedom and human dignity shall reign.

We are comforted by knowing that he will not be alone in that realm of our ancestors. He will join that great crowd of the pioneers and ancestors of Pan Africanism e.g. Kwameh Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, SamoraMachel, PixleykaIsakaSeme, Marcus Garvey, Charlotte Maxeke, King Sobhuza 11, King Moshoeshoe, Queen Modjadji, SeretseKhama, and John LangalibaleleDube. Therefore it is with tears of joy and victory that we come to pray this morning, shouting at the top of our voices saying:

God Bless Nelson Mandela

God Bless Africa NkosiSikeleli Africa May the people of God Say: AMEN.

Prayer is by Dr R SimangalisoKumalo, 18 July 2013, Mandela Capture Site Howick Pietermaritzburg, South Africa



I have just arrived in my office from taking part in a big Mandela Prayer meeting at the Mandela capture site in Howick Pietermaritzburg. We had close to a thousand people. The event has been organized by the Premier’s Office, the KwaZulu-Natal Christian Council and other community organizations. It is not surprising that we had the premier, and other provincial leaders. I had been requested to do a special prayer for Madiba who is still in hospital and for his family. What huge and an intimidating responsibility. What does one say when praying for Mandela, such a great figure in our land or even on earth? The prayers that have been offered for him in the past months by the nation are that he must get well and go back home. Very few people have been brave enough to pray for him to go and rest in the bosom of his forbearers or God depending on one’s religious orientation. There are a few reasons for this and I would like to share those with you.

Cultural reasons

In African culture (southern Africa) you don’t pray for death to come, but rather you pray for healing. I have been amazed at the way people have been praying for Mandela. They have been offering very mixed prayers. Some pray for him to get better and go home. They even mention that they want him to leave many more years. Is that realistic? This sounds selfish to me. Of course it would be good for our Madiba to live long with us, but then he must be in good health and be able to enjoy life and the fruits of his labour. Must he continue to live even when he is not able to enjoy life because of his serious health condition? Is that what we want and is that what he would like? In some African cultures e.g. Zulu and Swazi, when an old person becomes maternally sick and does not get better, the family perform rituals to ask the ancestors and God to realise him/her, so that he/she may die peacefully and live a better and healthier life in the afterlife. But because we have forgotten our culture, this has not been raised as an option, I do not know, the family might have discussed this, of course this is private family business. The good news in African culture is that even if he goes, death does not mean the end of a person, but rather they join the world of the ancestors so that they are able to continuing looking after the living and influence their affairs. He joins another realm of existence, which makes him more omnipresent.

Christian perspective

Christians in this part of the world pray for healing and this context healing is understood in a narrow sense which is recovery from sickness, nothing else. This is because prayer is understood to be an act of protest against everything that denies life and promotes death. It is built on the understanding that God is for life, not for death and God is all powerful and can
heal at all diseases at all times. To pray for death is like giving up on the power of God to heal and cure. So even when it is obvious that life is no longer meaningful for a sick person people do not have the courage to pray for death as solution to sickness and pain. This is despite the fact that the Christian faith also teaches us about life after death-resurrection. When we are confronted with death, we turn to forget the importance of the theology of resurrection. We remember this theology once the person has died and we have to preach the funeral sermon or to officiate in the committal of the body to God. I do think that there is a need for a theology of life and death to be developed and taught to our people. This theology must remind us that death itself is inevitable and is another form of life in another realm, just as African culture teaches us.

Political perspective

I have also been hearing political prayers, which call for Mandela’s recovery because we need him and we cannot go forward without him as a nation and country. The government and political leaders have also organized prayer meetings, calling for religious leaders to come and lead these prayers. Such prayers are motivated by the thinking that peace, stability and reconciliation in South Africa depend on Mandela’s presence and existence. A number of people believe that if Mandela goes there is a lot that will go wrong politically. Therefore they are holding on him not to go. To pray for him to go is also a dangerous thing to do for people will misinterpret one’s prayer just to score political points. Therefore it is difficult to know what to do in this situation.

I hope that religious leaders may gather the courage to pray that the nation and the family can be able to release Mandela for as our African religion has taught us if he lives he is with us in a limited sense, confined by space, time and health conditions but if he goes he will be with us in a much more powerful way as an ancestor, who is not confined by these things. This was my prayer at the Mandela capture site. I can still say to pray for Mandela is indeed a site of struggle, do we let him go or we hold him back.