SA needs morality within society and leadership: Smangaliso Mkhatshwa
A “trust deficit” is one of the factors that led to the recent civil unrest which degenerated into violence, looting, deaths and destruction of infrastructure, says the chairperson of the Moral Regeneration Movement, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa.
The veteran liberation struggle stalwart and theologian expressed concern about what he termed a “yawning gap” between the government, dominant social classes, and people on the ground during a webinar this week hosted by North West church leaders under the auspices of Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship.
“The trust deficit between government, public representatives and the citizenry has been triggered by the rampant corruption, malfeasance, lawlessness, looting by leaders and ordinary people, worsening poverty, unemployment, femicide and more recently the disastrous Covid-19 epidemic,” he said.
Mkhatshwa acknowledged that like the government and political parties, the MRM was also conspicuous with its absence during the crisis.
“We experienced the same paralysis when the country was shell-shocked by the xenophobic attacks. From the shocking picture one could tell that there was no leadership. Wild instinct ruled supreme. In the absence of regular religious services [during Covid-19 lockdown], many pastors were at a loss as to what role to play,” he said.
“The role that ethical leadership can play in channelling the amazing energy of the marauding crowds into a massive force for good cannot be overemphasised. The popular and democratic structures such as the United Democratic Front (UDF), civic movement and the mass democratic movement built to spearhead the struggle had played a major role in uniting people. From them we have learnt that any organisation that is led by leaders without integrity will eventually collapse.”
Mkhatshwa said the MRM charter's values include respect for the worth of people irrespective of social origins, race, gender, age, class, or sexual orientation; responsible freedom, rule of law, freedom of movement, worship, and expression; material wellbeing and economic justice, access to resources; overcome corruption in all its forms; family values; and good governance based on honesty, integrity and loyalty.