Bishop Vincent Zungu OFM, of the Diocese of Port Elizabeth, has joined other Christion leaders from the Nelson Mandela Bay area in signing an Open Letter to President Zuma, calling on him to step aside.
Here is the text of the Letter:
Dear Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, Msholozi Nxamalala, son of Nobhekisisa Zuma, president of the ANC and of the Republic of South Africa
We, as leaders of the majority of Christian churches within the city of Nelson Mandela Bay, ask you to hear our request in the name of God who commissioned us authority to prophesy and speak for the poor and oppressed of our land and people and who wills kingdoms and Kings to exist and removes them of His will if a better life for all regardless is left undone
We cannot continue on this path we are walking. Our people are poor and our people are hurting. We, as a nation, have become distracted from the work that needs doing by the actions of those we elected to serve us. Our attention is focused on what is bad about our country, not what is good.
The time has come to focus on the country we want. This is not to forget the country we were or to ignore the country we are, but to embrace the country we can be. To do this we must move forward.
We knew that the road out of colonialism, apartheid and poverty would be a tough one; a road paved with the sacrifices of many, including your own. Much has been achieved but we are still faced with challenges that are giants before us. Too much is at stake for us to falter on that journey.
Those who lead us; those who serve us in parliament, must be people who have our trust. Our government’s priority should be the needs of the people, not the needs of the few. We need leadership that has our confidence and that inspires us. We need a leader who unites us.
It is clear that we must follow a different path and that this requires a different person to lead us. We agree with those who stood on the steps of the Constitutional Court on the 6th April. We are not confused; we do not misunderstand; we are clear that the constitution must rule us all, with no exception.
We will, over the next few months, be engaging with our congregants in the lead-up to the 3rd August – to hear their voices; to be sure their needs are our focus. We will also seek to engage with those in elected office to ensure that ordinary citizens again become government’s priority.
This is not about undermining a political party. Many of us were born into the ANC and will remain so until we die. This is about the future we want for South Africa, as well as who best to lead us.
We ask that you act in the spirit and faith this young nation was founded on. We ask that you do the difficult but honourable thing and step aside as our country’s president. We are all human. Each of us will face the moment when our time has come to do something different. There are fewer challenges as tough. We ask that you lead us in that moment.
We pray that God may guide you in His wisdom, that God will bless our land and save our people through the granting to us of credible God-fearing leaders!
Signed: Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Vincent Zungu, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Bishop Andile Mbete, Apostle Neville Goldman, Pastor Patrick Douglas-Henry and Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom
On behalf of the Church Leadership Group of Nelson Mandela Bay