Beef up security along our border with Mozambique , SA Govt – says ACDP

Beef up security along our border with Mozambique , SA Govt – says ACDP

ACDP wants South Africa and Mozambique to cooperate to deal with religious extremism.

The ACDP raises, yet again, its concerns over the developing genocide taking place in Northern Mozambique. This is intolerable and must not be allowed to continue. The ACDP is aware of the socio-economic imbalances that exist in the Northern province of Caba Delgado. When any government colludes with big business at the expense of its people, it is a recipe for disaster. When foreign business interests trump local interest and the youth remain unemployed, impoverished and angry, this becomes the breeding group for radical extremism. The democratic principles of equity, transparency and accountability must apply equally to all citizens of Mozambique.

Last year, at a sitting of the National Assembly, Hon Wayne Thring, ACDP Deputy President, spoke about the ACDP’s condemnation of the brutal attacks by Islamic insurgents, who according to reports were systematically targeting and killing Christians and burning down their places of worship. Once again, the ACDP raises its condemnation for the brutal and murderous attacks which have taken place in Palma, in the Northern Mozambican Province of Caba Delgado.

Over 750 000 Mozambicans have been displaced and thousands killed since the insurgency began a few years ago. Recently, a South African citizen was killed, allegedly, by the Islamist extremist group, AL Shabaab. The ACDP calls on the South African government to beef up its security along our borders with Mozambique. In addition, while recognizing that Mozambique is a sovereign state, both South Africa and Mozambique must find ways of mutual cooperation in dealing with this scourge of religious extremism that has become intolerant to any other religious groups and a law unto themselves.

We furthermore call on all peace-loving and law-abiding sectors, be it religious or civil society, to condemn these heinous attacks on innocent civilians in Northern Mozambique.

Rev. Kenneth Meshoe – ACDP MP

ACDP withholds support for Electoral Laws Amendment Bill

ACDP withholds support for Electoral Laws Amendment Bill

Honourable Speaker,
In considering this Electoral Laws Amendment Bill, the ACDP is acutely aware of the dichotomy which exists and the need to balance the polarized positions.

On the one end of the scale is the right of access to information and on the other, the right to privacy. Clearly, there is a legitimate concern that providing unfettered access to the voters’ roll could open the door to identity theft and the abuse of personal information. On the other hand restricting access to the voters roll could call into question whether the elections were indeed free and fair, open and transparent, as these concepts are non-negotiables in the pursuit of democratic elections.

The ACDP understands the urgency to have this Amendment Bill passed, with the Local Government Elections expected to take place later this year. However, urgency must not become expediency, which undermines our democracy, causing the legitimacy of the outcomes of an election to be questioned. The principle of redaction and the restriction of access to information on the voters roll to stakeholders such as the media and civil society organisations could place impediments before these stakeholders, thus limiting their role as watchdogs, and potentially, or very likely, making an election outcome, unlawful or unconstitutional.

The ACDP notes that according to the Lawyers For Human Rights there some 15 million stateless people in South Africa, with 3 million under the age of 18. The vast majority of these go undocumented, have no access to essential services, become vulnerable and subject to abuse. As we begin preparation for Local Government Elections, statelessness, undocumented individuals, and lack of queue management at the Department of Home Affairs, are some challenges highlighted in the portfolio committee, that need resolution, so as not to preclude legitimate citizens for the democratic electoral process, while simultaneously ensuring that illegitimate individuals are not included.

While the ACDP understands the need to protect personal information, the redaction of digits of identity numbers on the voters roll may lead to electoral fraud and make the outcomes of elections questionable. This is undesirable and should not happen in a constitutional democracy.
The ACDP does not support the Electoral Laws Amendment Bill.

New plans and actions are needed to empower our citizens and to renew their dignity

New plans and actions are needed to empower our citizens and to renew their dignity

Subject for discussion: Why South Africa can no longer afford to delay implementing a permanent Basic Income Grant to address the basic needs and dignity of its most marginalised citizens? By Marie Sukers MP

Honourable Chairperson, There are two scriptural contexts which the ACDP wishes to highlight in this debate today: Jesus said, “the poor you will always have among you”, and secondly Paul the Apostle says: “the ox that works the field must not be muzzled. “These two texts highlight the crucial combination for social stability: social welfare to provide for the poor and a fair wage for the man or woman who works hard.

Our people want to work. They do not want to be life-long grant recipients. They want to have their dignity renewed and take up their place in society as builders of our nation. We need new plans and actions that will empower our citizens, and I emphasize our citizens, from every group and sector of society, our citizens, not the state, to create the jobs we need. This will grow our tax base, pull us back from the fiscal cliff and ensure we have the resources to take better care of the poor.

Marie Sukers MP

However, Chairperson, the state is a poor steward of what the people already pay in taxes. The state is unable to fulfill its Constitutional duty set out in, s(27)c, to provide “access to social security, including, if they (people) are unable to support themselves and their dependents, appropriate social assistance.”This impotence of the State is demonstrated by the thousands of South Africans sleeping in front of our social service offices, and the thousands who have to wait before grants are adequately processed and released into their bank accounts.

Why then has our state failed?

  1. Before all else, the state fails to appreciate that taxes are not just a number on a pay-slip. They are a social compact. Our people give you, the government of the day, a pair of shoes for a child, something to give a friend or family member in need, school fees for a better school, that is what that number means to them. They give that to you so that you will help their fellow South Africans and be there for them when they may need you. You have broken faith with us.
  2. Our state is corrupt, and when our civil servants or politicians sell our state they are selling not just a number but that child’s pair of shoes – and worse than that, that child’s dreams.
  3. But there is a less obvious form of corruption, and that is the ineffective structure of our civil service. Our civil service needs urgent reform, and it needs it now!

The Civil Service is not fit for purpose. It needs a complete organizational re-design. We cannot expect a corrupt state to do this, so we need an open and transparent process that all of our people can scrutinize. With an effective Civil Service, we will find the money we need to provide the social security net that is needed in this current crisis, to pay back what we have borrowed, and to create the conditions for inclusive economic growth. Now is the time for the Good Stewards and Servant leaders both in politics and the State to come to the fore.

With an effective Civil Service, we will find the money we need to provide the social security net that is needed in this current crisis, to pay back what we have borrowed, and to create the conditions for inclusive economic growth. Now is the time for the Good Stewards and Servant leaders both in politics and the State to come to the fore.”

ACDP response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Address to the Nation on 1 February 2021

ACDP response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Address to the Nation on 1 February 2021

Media Release by Wayne Thring MP, ACDP Deputy President
 
In light of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on 1 February 2021, the African Christian Democratic Party wishes to respond as follows:
 
We welcome the announcement that vaccines will not be mandatory. This has always been the position of the ACDP. We have consistently called for Covid-19 vaccines to be safe and voluntary, the contents of which must be made known to any South African who may wish to take them. We will not deviate from this position. Mr. Ramaphosa also mentioned that there will be no travel and other restrictions that will be placed on those who do not take the vaccine.
 
This, however, contradicts Prof Salim Abdool Karim who is on record for having said that in this year, 2021, restrictions on movement will be put in place.
 
Does Prof Karim know more than the President of South Africa?
 
The ACDP also welcomes the lifting of the discriminatory restrictions on the religious sector. These restrictions saw the doors of churches across the country closed, while casinos, restaurants, malls, taxis, and airlines operated with limited to no restrictions. In this regard, the ACDP supported the court application by FORSA to force the hand of government to reopen church doors, whilst maintaining health and hygiene protocols. It can never be acceptable that government adopts a punitive and hypocritical stance against the religious sector when compared to other sectors.
 
Sadly, the President failed to clarify regulations on toddlers wearing face masks. This must be made very clear as toddlers, in particular, are still in their physiological development stage, requiring sufficient oxygen for brain and neurological development, not to mention the possibility of bacterial pneumonia in infants.
 
The ACDP has noticed that while the President has said that government will not place any restrictions on travel for those who do not take the vaccine, the CEO of Quantus Airlines, has said that their airline will, in the future, look at prohibiting passengers who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine, from flying. Additionally, the Israeli Health Ministry Director has also said that the Israeli government will not force citizens to take the vaccine, but Amazon will. Airlines will. Banks will. He further went on to say that “citizens won’t be able to buy, sell or trade without the vaccine.”
 
The ACDP demands to know whether these restrictions from the private sector will also apply to South Africans and whether the President of South Africa is only telling us a half-truth.

ACDP Launches urgent application for the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 Treatment

ACDP Launches urgent application for the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 Treatment

The ACDP today launched an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court to ensure that all registered medical doctors are able to prescribe the drug Ivermectin for Covid-19 treatment.


We will be seeking various orders, including removing any and all restrictions on the use of the drug in South Africa, provided it has been prescribed by a registered medical doctor, as well as an order declaring that the failure by the Minister of Health, Mr Mkhize, and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) to ensure that Ivermectin is accessible to all those who need it is inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid.


At a time when the Covid-19 is spreading rapidly, it is deeply concerning that medical doctors have been unable to prescribe Ivermectin, when treating Covid-19 positive patients.


The ACDP is joined in its application by Doctors for Life, an organization representing hundreds of medical doctors in the country.


Lastly, the ACDP notes that this afternoon, SAHPRA announced that it would facilitate “compassionate, controlled, access to Ivermectine” and will be issuing guidelines in this regard for medical practitioners. A key part of our case is that SAHPRA could and should have relied on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) assessment of the drug. We are pleased to note that SAHPRA CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete- Makokotlela, announced today that it would rely on the WHO assessment that the drug is safe for human use. We will be studying the guidelines once they are available, as well as taking advice from both medical practitioners and our legal team in this regard

Schools Should Not All Be Treated The Same In Delayed Return – THE ACDP

Schools Should Not All Be Treated The Same In Delayed Return – THE ACDP

In light of the serious health emergency and its impact on hospitals, it would be advisable to keep schools closed for the next two weeks.
The ACDP wants to state however that all schools should not be treated the same. School Governing Bodies (SGBs) and communities should determine school readiness. There should be a differentiated approach in the reopening of schools and not a one size fits all approach.

2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

2021 – Perspectives from President Reverend Kenneth Meshoe

Dear ACDP friends,
Greetings in the name of the Lord.

Most people agree that the year 2020 was not a great one. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, some people lost their jobs and livelihoods, while others lost their loved ones.

If we look at things from a natural point of view, 2021 looks to be no better than 2020 because of what we see in our hospitals, and from what we hear from our Minister of Health, who tells us that the rate of Coronavirus infections are increasing.

For the first time, there were no celebrations to ring in the New Year. Churches were not allowed to have their traditional New Year cross-over services which left many very upset.

Read More

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced new lockdown measures at both national, and district level for South Africa.

In a national address on Monday evening (14 December), the president said that the country has been hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections with nearly 8,000 new cases reported on Sunday.

There can no longer be any doubt that South Africa has entered a second wave, said the president. “If we do not act urgently, the second wave will be even more severe than the first wave.”

The president pointed to four provinces leading this second wave, including:

  • The Western Cape
  • The Eastern Cape
  • KZN
  • Gauteng

There are probably many reasons for this massive spike in infections, but some key contributors are now becoming clearer, the president said.

Ramaphosa said that most cases are reported in young people between 15 and 19 years. He said that one of the main reasons for the massive spike in infections are social gatherings and parties- particularly the matric rage event.

“In many of these gatherings, social distancing is not being observed, venues are crowded and not adequately ventilated, hand sanitiser is not readily available, and people are not wearing masks,” he said.

Many people consume alcoholic drinks at these ‘super-spreader’ events, with the result that people become less careful about taking measures to protect themselves and prevent infection.

“We now know that nearly 1,000 young people from Gauteng who attended the event have tested positive for the coronavirus. What we don’t yet know is how many more people each of them has infected.

“It is said that up to 300 families could, in turn, have been infected. The sad truth about is that festivals, concerts & parties – which should be occasions for fun & joy – are proving to be sources of infection & illness and may even lead to deaths.”

Other reasons behind the rise infections include increased travel between provinces and a relaxed attitude to current lockdown regulations such as wearing masks.

“The more we travel, the greater the potential to spread the virus,” the president said.

He said that the relatively low rates of infection over the last few months have made us more relaxed about wearing a mask over our nose and mouth every time we go out in public.

“Another factor in the rise in infections is increased travel with many people not observing prevention measures as they move within cities, towns and rural areas, and between different areas.”

“The festive season now poses the greatest threat,” the president said. “Unless we do things differently, this will be the last Christmas for many South Africans,” he said.

Local restrictions

Ramaphosa said that it is necessary to take extraordinary measures to save lives, while still protecting livelihoods.

These measures include local lockdown restrictions for the Sarah Baartman District in the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route District in the Western Cape, which have been declared hotspot regions.

From 00h01 on Tuesday, until a drop in infections is seen, the following additional restrictions will take effect in these areas:

  • Hours of curfew will be from 22h00 – 04h00 except for essential workers and emergencies;
  • The sale of alcohol will only be permitted between 10h00 and 18h00, from Monday and Thursday at retail outlets;
  • Alcohol use will be banned in public places such as beaches and parks;
  • All gatherings, including religious gatherings, may not be attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and 250 people for outdoor events;
  • At all times the total number of people may not exceed 50% of venue capacity;
  • All post-funeral gatherings are now prohibited.

National lockdown

Ramaphosa also announced that further national restrictions will be reintroduced from 00h01 on Tuesday.

These restrictions will be reviewed in early January based on the state of the country’s coronavirus cases, he said.

The new restrictions include:

  • Stricter enforcement of existing level 1 lockdown restrictions – This includes that people in public buildings and public transport wear masks.
  • Gatherings – Gatherings will be further restricted to 100 people for indoor events and 250 for outdoor events. The total number of people in a venue may not exceed 50% of the capacity of the venue.
  • Funerals – All post-funeral gathering are prohibited across the country.
  • Beaches – Ramaphosa said that a differentiated approach will be used for the country’s beaches and public parks. In areas with high coronavirus cases beaches and parks will be closed from 16 December to 3 January – this will apply to all of the Eastern Cape and the Garden Route. Beaches will also be closed in KZN on days which are seen as particularly busy. These include 16 December, 26 December, 31 December, 1 January, 2 January, and 3 January. Beaches and public parks in the Western Cape and Northern Cape will remain open for now.
  • Evening – South Africa’s national curfew will be extended: 23h00 until 04h00. This means that non-essential establishments such as restaurants will have to close at 22h00 so that staff and patrons can go home before curfew. The curfew is in full effect on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
  • Alcohol – The sale of alcohol will only be permitted from 10h00 – 18h00 from Monday to Thursday at retail outlets. Wine farms can remain open and sell alcohol for off-site consumption as per their licence hours.
Lack of response equals tacit approval of violence against women and children

Lack of response equals tacit approval of violence against women and children

The ACDP is on record for condemning the violence perpetrated against women and children through pornography. We have consistently said that pornography is the theory and rape, the practice. It is hypocritical to speak out against the act of rape, and sexual violence but not the source. We must be unashamed and bold to go to this source to stop the barbaric and immoral violence against women and children.