The Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) has backed the anti-corruption march organised on 30 September by a civil society coalition, called UNITE AGAINST CORRUPTION. In a press release endorsing the anti- corruption march, the commission has questioned the government’s seriousness to curb corruption. “We believe that the Government is not doing enough to demonstrate that it is serious in its efforts to prevent and combat corruption. Political rhetoric is often not accompanied by decisive action,” says Bishop Abel Gabuza, Chairperson of the Justice and Peace Commission.
Justice and Peace is particularly concerned about the lack of decisive action in implementing the decision of the Constitutional Court calling for effective measures to enhance the independence of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (the Hawks). In 2012 the Constitutional Court found that the Hawks were not adequately independent from political interference and ordered rectifying legislation.
Adds Bishop Gabuza: “Government has dragged its feet when it comes to the restructuring of the Hawks to protect it from undue political interference as directed by the Constitutional Court.
“We have always maintained that our country will only succeed in combating corruption when anti-corruption institutions are adequately protected from executive and political interference; when competent people are appointed to head these institutions; and when the high-level politicians and those politically connected are held to account for corruption.”
In May this year Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko appointed a task team to oversee the process of strengthening the independence of the Hawks. The task team has been given April 2016 as a target for completion of institutional reform of the Hawks.
The Minister has promised that the reform shall include establishment of the Hawks as an independent budget programme to ensure that there are no malicious budget cuts when the institution is investigating powerful political officials.
The Justice and Peace Commission believes that the mandate of the task team should also include advising the Police Minister on the institutional location of the Hawks that is best suited for its independence and effectiveness as an anti-corruption institution.
Questions have been raised about its location in the South African Police Service (SAPS), which allows the National Commissioner considerable influence over members.
Says Bishop Gabuza: “We need to revive the national conversation around the best institutional location of the Hawks. We also call for greater involvement of Parliament in the appointment of the head of the Hawks. Concentration of the appointment powers in the Police Minister, without some form of parliamentary oversight, does not sit well with the independence of the Hawks.”
For further information or interviews please contact:
Bishop Abel Gabuza
Chairperson of the Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Tel. 053 831 1861 or 053 831 1862.
“Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8)
Thank you! Thank you!
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each community and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.
This is a quote from the last letter the Pope sent to us for Lent of this year. But you have done well and we don’t know how many times we should say thank you! Because you have been so open handed and you have raised 10 Million Rand this year. So from the Bishops Lenten Appeal Office and on behalf of the Bishops Conference we would like to say THANK YOU.
As you know this money is used primarily for the works of the Church, the Poor and the Needy and many of you have experienced the merciful kindness of the different charitable projects administered by the Church in your Diocese.
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Pt 4:10)
Thank you for giving from the depths of our hearts. Every cent that was contributed through the envelope system, the mite boxes, as well as the sms method is now being distributed to over 60 different organisations who have a great need in the Church. As you know times are really hard so we have more and more organisations seeking aid. So thank you for the 7% increase in the money we collected this year, your generosity here speaks for itself. This is truly a sign of the Love of Christ Jesus at work through you all.
Through the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, you sustain these programs and works of mercy. Your generosity and commitment to a self-reliant local Church continues to reach greater heights every day. As your Bishops we remain grateful and extended our blessings to each and every one of you
‘A poor widow came and put in two small coins, the equivalent of a penny.43 Then he called his disciples and said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, this poor widow has put more in than all who have contributed to the treasury; 44 for they have all put in money they could spare, but she in her poverty has put in everything she possessed, all she had to live on.’ The Gospel of Mk 12: 42- 44
The bishop of Manzini (Swaziland), + Jose Ponce de Leon IMC, has expressed the condolences to the Swazi nation for the death of the “reed” maidens in a terrible accident between Manzini and Mbabane. Click here for his letter Bishop Jose Speaks on The Sad Demise of Swazi “Reed” Maidens