SACC asks South Africans to restore 'spirit of Ubuntu' amid growing intolerance

The South African Council of Churches has called on South Africans to restore the spirit of Ubuntu amid growing intolerance within communities.

South African Police Service (SAPS) officers are seen as community members protest against the rise of crime in the area in Diepsloot, South Africa, on 6 April 2022. Picture: GUILLEM SARTORIO/AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has called on South Africans to restore the spirit of Ubuntu amid growing intolerance within communities.

The latest incident was the murder of Elvis Nyathi in Diepsloot.

Nyathi was allegedly murdered by a mob that had accused him of being a criminal before demanding that he prove his identity.

The attack came after residents took to the streets to protest against poor policing that included the management of illegal migrants who they claim committed crimes in their area.

The council has since urged South Africans to use the message of Easter to reflect on more humane ways of dealing with the concerns plaguing communities.

Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana reiterated the SACC’s warning against vigilantism, saying if left to continue more lives would be lost.

He called on South Africans to consider whether the identity of “street killers” was they chose to project for the country.

“In 2015 Emmanuel Sithole was stabbed to death at Alexandra, in 2019 Isaac Sithole was burned alive at Katlehong and now we have pounced on Elvis Nyathi to meet a horrific death.”

The bishop said anyone with grievances should address them in a structured manner like reaching out to the council with concerns and proposals.

The SACC was expected to engage with government and other societal bodies ahead of a plenary of the national indaba on non-South Africans in our society and economy.

CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO CRIME

Johannesburg Mayor Mpho Phalatse's office said she would hold more discussions as part of efforts to address the socio-economic issues contributing to crime in Diepsloot.

Residents say a lack of streetlights, narrow roads and the volume of people who live in the township have made it a breeding ground for criminals.

Phalatse visited Diepsloot on Saturday following similar trips made by Police Minister Bheki Cele and Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi this week.

The community has been protesting over unsolved murder cases and say illegal immigration is part of the problem.

Phalatse’s spokesperson Mabine Seabe said she would meet with her team to discuss some of the issues.