(Thanks to Chris Meny-Gibert for group pic)
Staff and former members joined an interfaith march to Parliament on 19 April in support of the protection of Chapter 9 Institutions,including the Public Protector, and to protest against government corruption. The march, starting in District Six, was preceded by prayers from faith traditions, including Christian, Muslim and Hindu, as well as a message from 82-year old Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
The demand from the Marchers:
• a change in the practice and behaviour of those who hold office in all three spheres of government;
• that captains of industry and commerce and all who have influence en power in different sectors of society abandon the empty tomb of unfulfilled promises and embrace the style of leadership associated with Nelson Mandela, the embodiment of the values best representative of ourselves as people;
• an approach to leadership that is exemplary and that is not threatened by healthy social discourse;
• a government committed to serve ALL people who have entrusted to them that awesome and awful responsibility of leadership.
This march was a demonstration of active citizenry in which political parties were not a divisive force; no political flags were visible in the crowd of around three thousand protestors.
The march was led by Archbishop Thabo Makgoba and several other faith leaders including Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane, Archbishop Stephen Brislin) and President Ml Ihsaan Hendricks. In his speech in front of Parliament, Archbishop Makgoba called for a value based government that upholds transparency and accountability.