Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By CNA Daily News - Europe (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

Southern African bishops call for an end to violence and looting

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

South African flag, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. / flowcomm via Flickr (CC BY 2.0.)

Rome Newsroom, Jul 15, 2021 / 06:35 am (CNA).

Catholic bishops in Southern Africa have called for an end to violence and looting that has led to the deaths of 72 people.

People were trampled to death this week amid looting and rioting in the streets of two South African provinces, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, where violence broke out following the imprisonment of former President Jacob Zuma.

The South African Bishop Sithembele Sipuka issued a statement on behalf of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) on July 13 condemning the violence.

“Let us not allow the difference of opinion on political matters to be hijacked by criminal intentions to create anarchy in our country that will result in worse social and economic situation than we presently find ourselves in,” Sipuka, the president of the SACBC, said.

“To those who incite this violence and looting for political ends, we call upon them to rise above political interests, to protect life, and to preserve the common good,” the bishop said.

The mass looting began after the former South African president was imprisoned on July 8 for contempt of court for refusing to testify before a judicial commission for an investigation into allegations of corruption during his presidency.

Zuma, who led the country from 2009 to 2018, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for failing to comply with the court order to testify.

“As we navigate some difficult routes of this democratic journey let us continue to choose the path of dialogue to settle our differences as brothers and sisters united by the love of our country and the desire for its prosperity for the good of all who reside and work in it,” Sipuka said.

The bishop attributed the crisis in the streets partly to the extreme economic inequalities and high unemployment.

“We also realize that the current crisis is due in no small measure to extreme economic inequalities as well as economic hardships suffered by the poor during the pandemic,” he said.

The unemployment rate in South Africa is 32% and more than half of the country’s almost 60 million population is living in poverty.

In the poor areas where the riots occurred, looters stole food, electronics, liquor, and clothing from malls, according to AP.

There have been reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering raising the number of soldiers deployed to confront the rioting to 25,000 soldiers.

“What started off as a difference of opinion has sparked off a wildfire of violence and looting because the ‘dry grass’ of poverty has been left to ‘overgrow’ over decades,” Sipuka explained.

“A big contributing factor to this ‘dry grass’ of poverty is the lack of efficient leadership in government and unethical practices in business.”

The Catholic bishop of Mthatha urged “a return to efficient leadership at all levels of government” to ensure that people can participate meaningfully in the economic system.

“Our society has normalized the use of violence and vandalism to get the government to listen and be serious in addressing economic concerns of the poor. We need a shift in mindset, a collective conversion of heart and mind, which affirms that violent protests and destruction of property can never be a just response to the current economic hardships and economic injustice,” Sipuka said.

“We reiterate Pope Francis’ call in Fratelli tutti, reminding all that: in face of political and economic problems there is always a possibility of choosing constructive engagement over violence.”


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen! 
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%!  (See Video)

Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.

Report abuse


Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

Load more ...




Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.