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Harness protest energy for transformation, says Abp Makgoba

Posted on: April 13, 2015 9:13 AM
Defaced statue of Louis Botha outside the Houses of Parliament in Cape Town during the Rhodes Must Fall campaign. The wreaths were placed on the defaced statue by members of AfriForum. The AfriForum sign says Ek het help bou, ou! ("I helped build, friend!") and #dankieJan("#thanksJan").
Photo Credit: HelenOnline - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Related Categories: Abp Makgoba, Protest, Southern Africa

[From the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town] Archbishop Thabo Makgoba called on Friday for the energy behind campaigns for the removal of colonial and apartheid-era statues to be harnessed "into rigorous self-examination and action to expand the current campaigns into a creative, society-wide drive for real transformation."

He was responding in Cape Town to the removal of a statue of the British colonial politician and empire-builder, Cecil John Rhodes, from a central position on the campus of the University of Cape Town. Its removal followed a vigorous student-led campaign which became defined by its Twitter hashtag, #RhodesMustFall.

Archbishop Thabo said in a statement:

"The campaign against symbols of the injustice of our past, along with service delivery protests and public outrage over corruption, reflect the anger of South Africans at the inequalities that continue to plague us.

"From students to unemployed youth on the streets, from the middle-classes to women struggling to make ends meet in township homes, South Africans are tired of our collective failure to improve all our people's lives for the better.

"We must harness the energy being poured into protest into rigorous self-examination and action to expand the current campaigns into a creative, society-wide drive for real transformation.

"The churches, along with government, business and educational institutions, must all join this, the new struggle for equality of opportunity."