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Homo naledi debate: 'Humans don't come from baboons'

The SACC welcomed Homo naledi, but doesn’t approve of the theory that humans come from baboons.

Paleoanthropologist Professor Lee Berger and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa hold a replica of one of the Homo naledi fossils at the Cradle of Humankind, 10 September 2015. Picture: Christa Eyber/EWN."

JOHANNESBURG - While the South African Council of Churches (SACC) says it's celebrating the discovery of Homo naledi with the world, it doesn't approve the theory that 'humans come from baboons'.

The SACC has reacted to comments regarding the discovery of Homo naledi, saying comments which border on insulting the personhood of people by calling them baboons is extremely dangerous.

Former Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi took to social media, where he tweeted that no one will dig old monkey bones to back up a theory that he was once a baboon.

Science is materialism - it's facts that can be proven. No one will dig old monkey bones to back up a theory that I was once a baboon -sorry

Scientists revealed a significant fossil discovery last week which had been kept a secret for years at Maropeng in the Cradle of Humankind.

SACC President Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa says all human beings and creation should enjoy dignity, justice and peace.

"God the creator is far greater than all of us, but we celebrate that discovery in South Africa. They must keep on probing, but listen to what God is saying to us and not make a jump to quick, foolish conclusions."

WATCH: The Homo naledi species which was unveiled to the world in Maropeng on Thursday, has opened a door to a new debate on what makes humans unique.

He's warned that creation by God is beyond any human understanding.

"That black people are baboons is the perception of many who come from the western world."

Siwa has encouraged conversations around this discovery, but says scientists must be careful.

"To my brother Vavi, I would say that he is spot on. It's an insult to say that we come from baboons. We must continue to engage and discern what it is that God is communicating to us at this time."

Founding president of the Kara Heritage Institute, Mathole Motshekga, has denied Homo naledi is his ancestor.

However, Methodist Church leader Paul Verryn says the discovery of Homo naledi is nothing contrary to biblical scriptures or what religious people believe.

"There is nothing that is made that does not have a God influence on it."

Scientists say the historic discovery of Homo naledi is human's ancestor which will help understand where we come from.

Take a look at EWN's special feature on Homo Naledi.