‘Heal Cape Town, make her a better place’ — Clementia Pae

A new breed emerging; a door of hope

“Heal the world; Make it a better place
“For you and for me; and the entire human race
“There are people dying; if you care enough for the living
“Make a better place; for you and for me”

It was exactly six days after Voice of Africa Global Media hosted an event in Cape Town that left many of our hearts aching and minds restless, that I found myself staring at a new dawn — a door of hope.

SEE ALSO: ‘Cry for freedom’ from Cape Town’s black professionals — Nomvuyo Xabela

Looking at this new possibility, I realised that it remained entirely up to me, to either enter this door of hope, running joyfully;  or to hold back and remain in the place of hopelessness and despair that we are witnessing daily.

As I listened to the famous song, by the late Michael Jackson, “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race”, it seemed as though I was hearing it for the first time as the the youth of Pinelands High School were singing it, towards the end of their Music Gala Concert  at Hugo Lamberts Auditorium in Parow.

I had come to the concert to see and support my youngest daughter, Lerato, and her friends, as they showcased their skills and talents, on different music items at the concert. My daughter sang a couple of solos and played the lead trumpet. She and many of her friends have been together since grade one. Eleven years on, they are still close friends.

When I entered the auditorium, I was given a brochure for the event, and it had writing on the cover — “Together we heal the world”.

As this multiracial choir stood on stage and sang “Heal the world”, I felt and saw a fresh wind of the Spirit of God blowing and whispering “THERE IS HOPE FOR CAPE TOWN”.

As I watched and listened carefully, I realised that these young lives signified unity in purity, and unity in diversity. Not only do they sing together, but they see one another as people — as equals. They see one another as friends, classmates, schoolmates, team members, etc.

Over the years, this unity and their love for one another might have been challenged and even polluted by the negative environment around them, but even so, no evil has taken root deep inside of them yet, because of the purity of their young hearts.

The Spirit of the Lord continued echoing: “A new breed is emerging, protect them.” “They are the new dawn of hope, to bring light, peace and the healing in the nation, embrace them.” “They carry life, they see life, they speak life, they do life, nurture them, in My ways.” “Speak life to them. Give them space to live the life that I have ordained for them.”

This was not a church service, but the Spirit of God was present. Looking again at the brochure, I realised that the Spirit of God had inspired the design and the writing on the cover page.

God Himself is pouring out His Spirit and releasing healing upon all flesh, across society. The time for Cape Town to receive her healing has come.

Bridging the gap; preserving lives
The situation was however a very different one, a week earlier, at the event organised by Voice of Africa Media, to “Redress the Erosion of black Professionals in Cape Town”.

At this event the crowd comprised very hurting, very frustrated and very angry, young black professionals, who had responded to a call to “come and speak out about the challenges that they are facing in the marketplace in Cape Town on a daily basis”.

Voice of Africa Global Media (VOA) embarked on this movement, as a response to a much-raised question that has attracted great attention in media — the question of “Why do black professionals leave Cape Town?”

According to the Department of Labour, the percentage of black African professionals in Cape Town has increased by a mere 4% in the past 10 years.

VOA recognised that the loss of these professionals is not just a human resources problem, with movement from one organisation to another, but rather a socio-economic issue, which affects us all, and which needs urgent attention and collective effort. VOA responded by starting a movement, and creating a platform, to enable constructive dialogue. Here, life stories were shared, solutions presented, skills, talents, and lives preserved in the Cape Town marketplace and society.

Diverse industry bodies, marketplace professionals, various specialists, and all interested parties were invited to participate in this dialogue, in order to bring diverse solutions. There was recognition of the need to first listen to those in pain, before coming to their aid with solutions; and on the other hand, that one cannot receive help, without speaking out about one’s desperate needs.

The goal was, “heal Cape Town and make her a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race.

The marketplace; a power switch
Deciding to not only rely on various research findings on the exodus of young black professionals, VOA conducted several interviews prior to its event. The responses confirmed that the challenges faced by black professionals in Cape Town are “segregation, hostility in the workplace, cultural isolation, lack of networking opportunities, etc.”

At the event, listening to the different stories, and seeing tears of frustration flowing down the faces of our young professionals, one realised that, the energy, the power and the light that was bursting through their veins, when they left high school, had been switched off completely, without any warning.

Now, they found themselves in the very slippery, very deep and dark pits of the marketplace corridors, where  depression lurks.

What is a power switch? It is a device that diverts the flow of something from one path to another. In the case of electricity power is switched from on to off. Our youngsters come out of university flowing with endless possibilities, but are brought to a complete halt as they enter the marketplace.

Instead of the marketplace becoming a launching pad that propels them to greater heights, for many, it becomes a deep and dark hole that they fall into, from which they cannot find a way out.

I had a privilege of meeting one young black professional, in her late twenties. This young lady had just been laid off by a reputable company in Cape Town. Even though she is a jewel, herself, full of life and flowing with creativity in her space, she was marginalised at her work, unfairly treated and later laid off.

She was about to pack her bags and leave Cape Town for Johannesburg. She also came to attend the redressing event. And as she shared her story, I could hear her heart crying: “You guys have failed us,” meaning “You who have gone before us, you adults, have failed us. You failed to warn us of the evil of racism in the Cape Town marketplace. You failed to protect us. You failed to intervene.”

As Arifa Parkar, CEO of Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum, who was guest speaker at the event, shared her own tough story of having to push through many obstacles, climbing up the corporate ladders in Cape Town, and being marginalised because of the colour of her skin. I could see our young professionals nodding their heads in agreement, and silently saying: “At least someone understands. Well, at least to a certain extent.”

I saw a little wave of comfort envelope our youngsters. When the discussions continued, we soon realised that what has worked for us  might not necessarily work for our youth today. However, it is still worth the discussion, moving forward.

Many of them, whom I managed to engage after the event, shared stories of their own close friends, who had committed suicide, because they were battling in silence.

Even at this event our youth were fearful about speaking openly, in case someone wasrecording them, taking their photos, etc, which might threaten their jobs. However, we assured them that the information was safe with us, and they ended up speaking freely.

On the other hand, it was encouraging to see a couple of our middle-aged black professionals, who are currently occupying senior positions in big organisations in Cape Town, raising their hands to say: “We will come and share our stories and struggles with our young counterparts on the platform. We have nothing to hide. We are ready for constructive dialogue”.

Many organisations have been encouraged to measure the emotional state of their organisations, and to get professional help for their workforce, such as coaching and mentoring, workshops or training on cultural intelligence, etc. We saw a great response to this as well.

The role of the church; the role of parents
Currently, Vuka Africa Foundation is running a Healing campaign, “100 days word treatment”, where Bible verses are read daily, by various church and ministry leaders from around the continent. These scriptures are taken (read) daily, as one would a prescribed medication when sick.

Many testimonies of healing have been received during the first and second phases of 100 days of healing that took place in 2017. This third phase, which began on August 1 2018, has even more organisations and nations participating, and the healing is flowing.

The word of God and prayer is the first and the most important gift and weapon that we are given to use and see the mercies of God rewrite our lives, our children’s lives, and our communities and nations.

In addition to this, I am also hearing the Lord calling many leaders to take up a more active role in empowering our youth, beyond Sunday services and youth nights on Friday.

We have many business leaders in the church pews, who need to adopt, nurture, raise, coach, counsel and guide our young professionals in the marketplace.

We do not have to live in an environment that is eroded of its lives, skills and talents. Currently, the enemy is taking advantage of our children’s frustration and turning it into anger and manipulating the news, to bring his evil agenda in our cities and nation.

But we do not have to see this division in our midst. We have to engage in more dialogue. We have to be the voice of hope in our cities and in the nation. It is our responsibility, as parents of all races and cultures, to unite, to speak life and truth to our children.

It is our responsibility to tell them that “not every white person is a racist”. It is our responsibility to tell them that “there is hope for a black professional to succeed in Cape Town”.

It is also our responsibility to prove that these statements are true, even as we, ourselves; embrace unity in diversity, in word and deed. We simply cannot look away. We cannot ignore the pain that is evidently there.

Back at the Pinelands High School music concert, as I was chatting to the parents of my daughter’s friend, whom I have known for a couple of years, and who happens to be white, I was so encouraged and reminded of what it means to be our brother’s keeper.

The mother told me she has assured my daughter, that whenever I was away from Cape Town, she would be there for her. She would be her mother. She would not replace me, but she would assume my duty in my absence, by adopting my child as her own, playing this life- giving role, without expecting anything in return.

I was deeply comforted by this. In my book Life-giving Destiny Helpers which will be released later this year, I have a chapter called “Who has borne me these”. This chapter was birthed to awaken the Church to the spirit of adoption.

In this chapter I share God’s heart concerning adoption, and remind us, how we, ourselves, have been adopted into the family of God, and how we are called to adopt children of all ages, including our young professionals — and let the mercies of God rewrite their lives.

“Heal Cape Town; make her a better place. If you care enough for the living, make a better place for you and for me.”

Isaiah 58:6-14

 




Abuse of women and children : Could our leaders be part of the problem? — Tshego Motaung

#totalshutdown marchers (PHOTO: Daily Maverick).

“Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another” – These are some of the inaugural words that Nelson Mandela spoke as he took office in 1994.

At that moment, the nation’s hope for a better life was high as the war against the oppressive system of apartheid was finally won – so we thought.

It is very unfortunate that in a country that has been through such a difficult past, we find ourselves once again confronted by yet another form of evil and oppression – manifesting in the form of violence against women and children.

According to the World Health Organisation the broad definition of abuse includes five subtypes, namely physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and negligent treatment, emotional abuse, and exploitation.

Our nation has been inundated with headlines of reports of rape, sexual harassment, domestic violence cases. This has reached crisis levels that saw women #totalshutdown march across the nation on August 1. Sadly, two days later another young life was lost when Khensani Maseko committed suicide after she was raped at Rhodes University.

While Madiba’s words still ring fresh in our memories following the Mandela 100 commemorations, one cannot help but wonder what went wrong? How did we come to this place where we don’t seem to care about the cries of our children and women?

Could our leaders be part of the problem?
The New York Times recently published an article titled  “South Africa Vows to End Corruption. Are Its New Leaders Part of the Problem?” The article is focused on Deputy President David Mabuza and the allegations of corruption that took place under his watch as Premier of Mpumalanga — with the authors basically questioning whether the country can win the fight against corruption when leaders like him, implicated in corruption allegations could rise to the highest positions of power.

This question, I felt, could be asked of the country’s efforts to fight rape and the abuse of women and children.

Just over 10 years ago, we witnessed the humiliating case of Fezekile Kuzwayo, who we got to know as Khwezi. She was sadly vilified for laying rape charges against former President Zuma by his supporters. Her home was burnt down and she was forced to leave the country for safety. Zuma was eventually acquitted of those charges and South Africans later elevated him to the position of the country’s number one – as president.

The trauma and humiliation she went through was enough to send a clear message to other young women not to even think about laying charges after being raped, especially if it involved powerful politicians and men of influence.

Another story of rape emerged last year in December, when Jackie Phamotse finally spoke out about a gang rape that took place when she was only 17. This delegation of rapists was led by a man who was then a powerful politician in the Free State, and a Deputy Minister at the time she finally spoke out. Like Khwezi, Jackie and her family were also harassed, and she had to live in a safe house after receiving numerous death threats. Others questioned her motives for only speaking about this now, saying she was just seeking attention to boost her book sales.

Another leader, Danny Jordaan, SAFA President and former mayor of Nelson Mandela Bay, also stands accused of rape and sexual harassment by two women.

And how can we forget the story of Minister Manana who remained a member of Parliament even after he was convicted of assaulting two women.

These are just a few cases among many – whose victims we will never know.

The most painful thing about Khwezi — who grew up in exile surrounded by leaders of the struggle, who are among the leaders in our country today – is that she was raped at least three times when she was 5, 12, and 13 by those she regarded as fathers. These horrific incidents are detailed in a book about her written by veteran journalist Redi Tlhabi.

In a discussion about the book, former Intelligence Minister, Ronnie Kasrils, said on Radio 702 that incidents of sexual abuse within the ANC were always swept under the rug to protect the public image of the liberation movement. “Had the ANC dealt with the culture of sexual abuses during its years in exile, the party would have succeeded in dealing with sexual predation,” he said.

Jackie also documented the details of her rape experiences in her book BARE, where she also exposed the dark side of the lives of powerful politicians and businessmen, and the unspoken costs of the “blessers” lifestyle that she escaped. In an interview with eNCA she also speaks of cult-like behaviours that these leaders engage in – like mutilation of young girls’ body parts or sleeping with young virgins to gain power

Sadly, despite all these horrible reports of what our leaders have done, the focus somehow always shifts from the fact that women and young girls are abused and raped, to what they are wearing, and to even questioning their motives for speaking out.

The need to confront the crisis
We can no longer shy away from the fact that we are in a crisis. It has been encouraging to hear men speaking out and marching against violence against women and children. In a discussion about the effectiveness of marching against abuse, one person raised a very important point, saying ultimately this subject is a matter of the heart. The work that must be done is more inward than going to the street.

Perhaps it is time for our leaders to pause and begin to do the work of the heart – because corruption, deceit and lies are all matters of the heart. While our constitution remains the best in the world, it is not able to override hearts that are bent on wickedness.

We need more than just lip-service or good speeches on this subject; urgent action is required to send a clear message that this can no longer be tolerated — especially at leadership level in public service.

It should not be acceptable that men who have abused women are somehow rewarded by the system and continue to rise to higher positions in government.

A nation that is not able to protect women and children, is a nation that gambles with its future. Failure to address this at leadership level will limit the ability of the nation to win the fight against abuse.

We need to get to a place where we can say boldly: “Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of women and children.”




Key US ministry leaders uniting to mobilise evangelists

Shawn Bolz (Image: Courtesy uncommonlegacy.com)

Originally published in Charisma News

Prophetic leader and author Shawn Bolz writes about a significant new campaign to re-ignite a passion for salvation in the US and a massive missions movement to the nations

Lou Engle has completely transitioned his life from gathering people to intercede through his TheCall events and is launching a new stadium event with a single focus: to release people to go outside the church into all the world to see a new breed of evangelism for a new worldwide harvest.

Engle has gathered some of the most impactful evangelism and missions organizations with some of the largest reach into nations and industries around the world. They are collaborating for an event that will take place Feb. 23, 2019 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. And they are believing for upwards of 60,000 people to come, which would be one of the largest events in history with the focus of commissioning and releasing evangelists to the harvest field.

Though evangelism seems to have taken a backseat among Millennial priorities, the leadership of The Send believes God is going to make it front and center through this powerful gathering—not just for the day, but to instill this value as primary back into the church of America.

I remember spending time with a well-known prophet, Bob Jones, several years before he passed.

We were talking about evangelism, and he told me, “When Billy Graham dies, the mantle that was on his life will cover a generation of evangelists and will bring forth a worldwide revival.”

He talked about the impact Billy Graham was able to have because of his gift and calling being imparted over entire movements.

I relayed this earlier in the year to Engle, and he said, “This is what we are believing for, and this is one of the reasons we are gathering.”

Engle went on to describe that after the years of solemn assemblies and stadium gatherings of fasting and prayer through TheCall, something took place. A group of YWAMers came into his living room and said, “There’s coming a shift to TheCall, and stadiums are going to be filled—not just with fasting and prayer—but with the proclamation of the gospel and signs and wonders, and Billy Graham’s mantle is coming on the nation.”

That prophecy almost seven years ago became a dominating prophecy creating expectancy for a coming shift, in a sense, from TheCall to The Send. Engle and TheCall team had been believing the same thing about Billy Graham: that when he died, something major would take place.

Six years ago, Engle and a team went to Orlando, and he began to prophesy at the Citrus Bowl that a massive sending movement was coming and a Jesus Movement would break out. They began to pray for 80 million souls in America to be saved, and for 200,000 missionaries to be sent.

Earlier this year, Engle was seeking God while traveling.

On Feb. 12, he was reading 2 Kings 2, where Elisha received the mantle of Elijah.

Elisha basically says, “I will not leave you, Elijah, until I get your spirit upon me.”

As he read those words, the Holy Spirit gripped him and he wrote in big letters in his Bible, “BILLY GRAHAM, I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU UNTIL I GET A DOUBLE PORTION OF YOUR SPIRIT ON THE NEXT GENERATION!”

Engle felt as if God was bringing him into a divine prophetic moment and that Billy Graham was about ready to pass. He sensed that the body of Christ was heading to a Jordan crossing, and it would release a double-portion Elisha movement of signs and wonders as sons and daughters would rise up and carry the mantle of Billy Graham.

Then, on February 16, Engle was flying from Hawaii while reading the passage where Elisha says, “Bring me a new bowl” (see 2 Kings 2:20.)

He said “It was like a command shot right into my spirit with the Lord saying, “Bring me a new bowl!” God went on to say: “Whereas before you have seen stadiums filled with fasting and prayer, you are going to see bowls filled with the manifestation of the scroll of Jesus: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted.'”

Just a few days later, on Feb. 21, 2018, Billy Graham went home to glory, and Engle knew it was “Game on!”

With all of this burning in his heart, Engle went to meet with a handful of great young evangelistic leaders: Andy Byrd of YWAM, Daniel Kolenda of Christ for All Nations, Teofilo Hayashi of Dunamis Brazil, Michael Koulianos of Jesus Image, Todd White of Lifestyle Christianity and Bryan Brennt of Circuit Riders—together, with the undergirding of TheCall.

I personally reached out to Andy Byrd, one of the co-sponsors, who is a leader in YWAM (Youth With a Mission) and asked him about this historic collaboration: “There are clear themes developing … the first is the story line of the passion and zeal of Billy Graham (and other fathers/mothers) falling on a whole generation in a way where many are walking in the passion they carried!” Byrd says.

“The second is that out of The Send, we are really believing it will be another piece of catalyzing a Jesus movement across America (the re-evangelization of America) and a massive missions movement to the nations! The whole gathering is an ‘adoption’ movement. To see the church activated in adoptive love to adopt every high school. university, neighborhood and nation! Matthew 9:37: Lord, send laborers, for the harvest field is ripe. He prays it out of his own adoptive love. Great compassion and zeal married together! Sorry, that got long. In simplicity, activate and empower the all to reach the all!” Byrd says.

By having this many of America’s largest evangelism and missions organizations in one place at one time, we are hoping to spark a flame that will bring a passion for salvation that has never been seen on a global level.

This isn’t just an event. We are believing for a before and after moment in time that the stadium where this is being held in will be a container for something new to happen: A heart to see Jesus get His inheritance in our generation through an evangelistic release like our generation hasn’t seen yet.

Shawn Bolz is the host of “Exploring the Prophetic” podcast. Find him online at Bolz Ministries.




Stepping into our mission as women today — Vivienne Solomons

outloud title bar

A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.

This week we celebrate National Women’s Day in South Africa. Importantly, the celebrations are not confined to just one day; numerous activities and events are planned throughout the country during the entire month of August, not only to mark that historic event of more than 60 years ago but also to recognise and celebrate all women from all walks of life, different generations, race and culture groups.

Whatever your perspective on how women are viewed and treated in our country and even what still needs to change, what cannot be denied is the fact that the acknowledgment and celebration of the unique role of women in our society is a significant and important gesture from the highest level of government, and one which in itself has an impact for change in this area.

It was on August 9 1956 that over 20 000 women of all races, led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn and Rahima Moosa, marched through the streets of Pretoria to the Union Buildings in order to deliver a petition to the then Prime Minister, JG Strydom.

The petition was in protest to the extension of the law that required black men to carry reference documents or “passes” (which effectively curtailed their freedom of movement), to women as well.

It must have taken great courage for these women to make such a stand. Certainly, they would have had to count the cost involved to themselves personally.

As if the risk of official reprisals, including arrest, detention and even banning, were not enough, they also risked raising the ire of men — those close to them; those in their communities; and those across the nation.

But they were weary of standing back, powerless to make significant changes to a way of life that discriminated against them primarily because of their race, but also because of their class and their gender.

As a result, they took decisive action. Although it would take another 30 years before the pass laws were eventually repealed, these women are remembered for the risk they took and the stand they made.

Not unlike Queen Esther, who, faced with a difficult choice many years before them, was prompted to action by the words of her cousin Mordecai, who warned her that if she remained completely silent at that time, relief and deliverance would arise for the Jews from another place, and that she herself would perish.

However, he also encouraged her that she had in fact come to the kingdom “for such a time as this”. Esther had a God-given mission but she would need to count the cost in order for it to be realised.

Let us consider for a moment our own personal situations. The South Africa we live in is very different from that of 1956; South Africa and indeed the world have changed to such an extent that they would be barely recognisable to Lilian Ngoyi and her compatriots.

Yet each of us has a God-given mission or task, whether “big” or “small”, to accomplish in our lifetime. The question is, what is being required of us (which is, of course, legal and God-honouring) that perhaps we are not so comfortable or confident doing, for whatever reason?

In other words, what is holding us back from pursuing that dream, speaking out and standing up for change or even taking the necessary steps to create the life that we want?

As we contemplate and celebrate the role of women this month, may we not shrink back from being the women we were created to be, for when we rise to the challenge, the beneficial impact will not be limited to us personally, it will be felt not only in our families but also in our communities and in our nation.




‘Cry for freedom’ from Cape Town’s black professionals — Nomvuyo Xabela

Attendees at a recent gathering in Cape Town to address concerns about the erosion of black professionals in the city. (PHOTO: Facebook).

Although the word freedom is used, rightfully, in different contexts today, it is a biblical concept.

Freedom (of being and doing) is a central theme and value of Christianity (Kingdom citizenship), with Christ redeeming us and setting us free from sin (Galatians 5:1).

We see “freedom” demonstrated well in the journey of the Israelites, when they were led out of bondage after a period of about 430 years.

Similarly Africa has been held in bondage by greed, poverty, deception, oppression and misconception, and racism, among many other slave masters.

SEE ALSO: ‘Heal Cape Town, make her a better place’ — Clementia Pae

No discussion about freedom can be complete without a clear understanding of the nature of slavery. The late Myles Munroe in his book Burden for freedom says “a slave is always an excommunicated person. He or she does not belong to the legitimate social or moral community; he has no independent social existence, he exists only through and for the master”

Moreover any attempt to limit, control, hinder, restrict, inhibit, prevent or stop the fulfillment of God’s purpose and will in another’s person’s life, is a rebellion against God. This is also called wickedness in biblical terms.

In every case of oppression the cry for freedom is eminent!

At a recent weekend gathering entitled “Redressing the Erosion of Black Professionals in Cape Town, a Socio-Economic Issue” the cry for freedom surfaced in the dialogue hosted by Voice of Africa Global Media (VOA) at the SMG BMW pavilion in Cape Town.

The theme of the gathering was highly topical as it is one that has created wide interest in media and among different organisations, leading to headlines such as:
• Where are all the black professionals? — Leadership Online
• Where are Cape Town’s black professionals? — Destiny Magazine
• An inclusive corporate culture makes economic sense — Cape Times
• Call for action after black professional shared why she quit Cape Town — Financial 24.

According to the Department of Labour, the percentage of black African professionals in Cape Town has increased by a mere 4% in the past 10 years.

VOA operations director Clementia Pae said research by different individuals and organisations reveals a common trend of “diminishing black professionals in Cape Town”.

Indeed, a cry for freedom for young and mature professionals at the event was released as some shed tears as they expressed deep hurt at being intentionally marginalised by a dominating, discriminatory, racist and dividing system.

In a 2-hour session they shared their heartbreaking experiences of isolation, racism, rejection and fear as professionals in Cape Town boardrooms and work spaces.

Public and private sector general view
During the event two executives and professionals in the private (financial) and public (City of Cape Town) sector were interviewed and these were some of their comments: “As a black professional it is sad to say that once one is perceived as successful, he or she is treated differently by our own people, let alone the general public. It can be a very lonesome the higher one goes up the ladder.”

“The reality is that being a black professional and female in the finance industry is very hard to get the support one needs, and you find yourself alone in the boardroom with no one to support you. The reality is also that as the black community we do not challenge the status quo of inverse prejudice enough in Cape Town and it makes it easy then to be victims of the system.”

“Unfortunately it has to be said that as black people we have become worst imitators of the colonial mindset.
The strategy in the predominantly white industries has been the same ‘divide them and conquer’ and this division creates an illusion that most of us need to fight for our place or slice in order to survive.”

“It is the result of such challenges and isolation that most black professionals flee in order not stay long in Cape Town.”

“The reality is that Cape Town system administration is still very much racially-discriminated-driven, racism is not spoken about but very much alive. As a result, as black professionals, no matter how qualified you are on any subject matter, your view is not trusted and has to be verified extensively before considered if at all and this is tiresome and exhausting. Instead of working in having impact in society much time is wasted in engaging in workplace war zone, daily losing real-time productivity.”

Where to from here
Arifa parker, CEO of Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum, who was the guest speaker at the event, said it is time to have these platforms and engagement across the province, to provide everyone with opportunities to give input and to learn cross-culturally, and overcome their fears.

Strategies and insights on a way ahead that were put forward at the gathering included:
1. Intentional and strategic emotional intelligence programmes that are authentic need to be adopted aggressively by companies.
2. Cultural intelligence is also key for the journey of reconciliation and healing for Cape Town’s diverse workforce.
3. The prejudice status quo needs to be challenged by all professionals with dignity and unity.
4. Media should also be used to create awareness, positive dialogue and a move towards economic inclusion.
5. Coaching and mentorship need to be looked into to restore confidence, inner strength, competency needed, and knowing who you are — especially for the Black community
6. Companies that seem to be managing diversity wel, need to showcase their successes and be used as an example.
7. More investment and support for entrepreneurship is needed from both the public and private sectors.
8. A platform is needed for professionals and workers to share their struggles and pain openly without judgement or offending others.
9. The Black community need to change their mentality and stop putting down or undermining each other. Greed and selfishness has been a challenge and it was time to go back to a culture of ubuntu.




Section 25: to amend or not to amend — Nomvuyo Xabela

Land expropriation public hearing in Cape Town (PHOTO: The South African).

The earth is the Lord’s

The planet Earth, according to the Old Testament, is God’s conditional, covenantal gift to humankind.

In the same way, the promise of the land of Canaan to the Israelites is conditional.

“Although Yahweh (God) gives the land of Canaan to the Israelites as their inheritance, inheritance here is basically a right to land-holding, as God remains the ultimate owner of the land”

Lev 25:23 ‘ The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants’

“It is also important to note that the promise of land to the Israelites is not so much a privilege as it is a responsibility. This is truly, and inevitably, a challenge for all humankind to strive towards a peaceful coexistence and sharing of resources, including land, regardless of color, creed or language,” says L Fachhai1.

Public hearings
As the public hearings on land expropriation wound up in Cape Town last weekend, the amendment of section 25 of South Africa’s Constitution to “explicitly” expropriate land without compensation seemed to be all but assured.

People queuing to participate in the land expropriation public hearing in Cape Town (PHOTO: Nomvuyo Xabela).

Standing in the queue for almost 2-hours, waiting to enter the Goodwood hearing at Friends of God Church, I had an opportunity to question a few of the many people who were determined to go in and voice their views. Members of the public were given 3-minutes per person to make submissions to the hearing.

Ashley Cloete, a Cape Town missionary and writer, said he was born in Bo-Kaap that was predominantly a Christian area at the time until they were made to leave the area. He was subsequently raised in District Six but was again forcibly moved — to Tiervlei, a smallholding (with 8 plots).

He fortunately got a bursary to study in Germany, and while overseas received a letter from home informing him that a Muslim trader and businessman wanted to buy their property. He was then told his family had to vacate the area and the property was expropriated with R11 000 compensation which was not enough to buy another property.

Despite all these forced removals, his family, especially his mother, continued to thank God for His care.

Cloete told the hearing that in honour of his parents’ example he chose to forgive the people who had perpetrated such wicked things .

He said it was better to build the future of a country on biblical values, such as love and forgiveness, rather than to take land and build the country on hatred, which would bring the country down .

He said Section 25 of the constitution should not be amended as the current political structure already had safeguards to ensure orderly transition in SA.

Kings, priest and prophets
From a biblical context, it is the prerogative of kings, priests and prophets to understand the times and seasons — and, more importantly, to execute godly and just counsel to the nation, especially in times of crisis.

The sons of I Issachar, who understood the times and knew what Israel should do — In 1 Chronicles 12:32 

May 14 2018 marked an end of a 70 year cycle since the adoption of apartheid as a formal policy in South Africa. At the same time Israel received its independence.

History has shown us a link between the events in Israel and the Church worldwide. So we cannot touch issues relating to Israel carelessly. J G Olson2 writes:

• In 1885, when 1st “Aliyah” was made from Odessa, there was simultaneously a release of the Holy Spirit in Armenia and southern part of Russia. Over one-million people became Spirit filled.
• Similarly the 2nd “Aliyah” in 1905 resulted in the Azuza street revival swept across the world and great ministries were born including Billy Graham. T L Osborne and Oral Roberts.
• When something happens in the physical realm to Israel, it releases something in the body of Christ.
• During Israel victory in the Six day war, we saw the release of the “Jesus movement” which developed into the Charismatic Revival.

It is written: “In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the books the number of years which, according to the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet, must pass by before the desolations [which had been] pronounced on Jerusalem should end; and it was seventy years. And I set my face to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.” — Daniel 9:2-3

“For thus says the Lord, when seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you and keep My good promise to you, causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.” — Jeremiah 29:10-12

We call upon the most High God to remember South Africa (Africa) and judge with mercy and loving-kindness for her time of release has come.

Nkosi sikelela I afrika!

1 — Laiu Fachhai is the author of the book The land must be distributed Equally- The promise and covenant aspects of Land in the Old Testament. He is based in India and completed his doctorate of theology at the University of Stellenbosch
2 — J Gunner Olson is the founder chairman of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), which is represented in over 80 nations.




Why South Africa should not decriminalise prostitution

A poster with one of the arguments for decriminalizing prostitution.

Writing on the eve of SA’s National Women’s Day, ACDP MP Cheryllyn Dudley explains why legalising prostitution offer no benefits to women — only more profits to organised crime.

“I have listened carefully to the many arguments for decriminalisation and am acutely aware of the difficult and even desperate situations people face — often on a daily basis — but nothing I have heard convinces me that women will be safer or have greater options if prostitution is decriminalised.

There is a view that prostitution is mostly harmless, and that if you make it legal and/or regulate it, it will become safer for women and clean up the sex industry. This of course is wishful thinking on the part of some and deviously misleading on the part of others.

The ACDP is firmly convinced that decriminalising prostitution has less to do with the human rights of women and more to do with the multibillion-dollar prostitution and human trafficking industry globally.

First of all, health and other services are available to all that live in South Africa and won’t be more available when prostitution is decriminalised. Secondly, countries that have experimented with decriminalising the practice of prostitution have found that trafficking in women increases to meet the demand created by a legalised sex industry. It also makes it difficult to hold traffickers and pimps accountable as they evade prosecution by using the legality as a cover — claiming that women knew what they were getting into. Organised crime is heavily invested in a burgeoning sex industry and flourishes where prostitution is decriminalised.

The devastating impact of prostitution on women in developing countries and on marginalised groups in developed countries speaks for itself. Individuals, families and communities should not be encouraged to give up on themselves and embrace such dehumanising practices that have a destructive impact on all concerned. It is unthinkable for any government to protect and facilitate this abuse. Where sex work is recognised, those who are out of work and depend on UIF, will be told there is work available — sex work. This is not a solution to people’s problems — it is exploitation of the vulnerable.

An overwhelming body of international evidence shows that the terrible abuse and exploitation of women and children trapped in prostitution do not decline where there is decriminalisation; in fact, the opposite is true.

The ACDP is firmly convinced that decriminalising prostitution has less to do with the human rights of women and more to do with the multibillion-dollar prostitution and human trafficking industry globally.

The ACDP supports the view that the entire sex industry must remain criminalised and the relatively new laws in South Africa, which target the user, including clients, pimps, procurers and traffickers must be enforced. In addition, a mechanism is needed whereby prostitutes can be diverted into an exit programme to help victims of prostitution to rebuild their lives. Provision for the criminal offence to be expunged on completion of the programme should be an incentive.

Prostitution can have no legitimate role in enhancing women’s economic empowerment.

An overwhelming body of international evidence shows that the terrible abuse and exploitation of women and children trapped in prostitution do not decline where there is decriminalisation; in fact, the opposite is true. Public sentiment in South Africa is opposed to legalising prostitution, but well organised lobby groups place constant pressure on government and society. Many well-meaning compassionate people, organisations and legal minds are used to put a human face on this inhumane enterprise. The concerns they raise are real, but the solutions called for will not help women, men and children trapped in prostitution who pay the price for it physically, emotionally and spiritually.

In a study done in nine countries, including South Africa, 89% of prostituted people said they wanted to leave it, but had no other options for survival. Prostitution can have no legitimate role in enhancing women’s economic empowerment. Women must have choices through skills development and sustainable job creation.”




Words of hope from Bill Johnson to community facing fire hell

PHOTO: AP via Fox News.

One of the worst wild fires in California’s history has been raging in the north of the state for more than a week — spreading over more than 50 000ha, killing six people, destroying more than 1 000 homes and resulting in the evacuation of some 52 000 residents. At the time of posting this article the fire is thirty-five% contained and exhausted firefighters are working up to 48 hour shifts to try and get the upper hand. The major town in the path of the fire is Redding, a name which is familiar to Christians around the world because it is the hometown of the influential Bethel Church. The church, which has a huge impact on the town, is, together with many other groups in the area, playing its part in relief efforts — inter alia as a distribution hub for the Salvation army. Bethel leader Bill Johnson, whose family are among the fire evacuees, rushed home from a ministry engagement in the United Kingdom when he heard of the fire. His message at last Sunday’s morning service — reported on below — was to a community facing a relentless and unpredictable threat.

Acknowledging members who have lost everything to a wildfire surrounding Redding, California, pastor Bill Johnson told his Bethel congregation Sunday morning that the church is going to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, reports Charisma News.

Some people in Redding and from Bethel are mourning the total devastation of their homes and possessions, while others are rejoicing that their homes and lives were spared, he observed.

“Today is a very strange day,” Johnson said. “We didn’t throw a party of fire for you,” he said before Bethel’s worship team opened with song lyrics “through the storm, He is Lord of all” at the church’s single service on Sunday morning.

“Outside is what’s from the devourer — not from the one who gives life,” Johnson said.

“Crises times are healing and breakthrough times. I don’t feel like I need to offer an answer or explanation because it’s His peace that passes understanding (that we need).”

Like others evacuated from their homes, Johnson said he returned briefly to his home Saturday.

He said dear friends had lost everything, and that months of attention will be focused on the crises before things are fully restored.

“Some of you are at a place where you’ve lost everything, and it’s hard for you to believe for a better tomorrow.

“We’re going to believe the Lord for His full-on demonstration of love,” Johnson said before Bethel’s worship team opened with a song by Hillsong, “Cornerstone.”

Following worship, prayer and intercession directed at containing the fire provided hope amidst the ashes for some.




Religious belief may justify “discrimination” — Adv Nadene Badenhorst

Gretha Wiid at a speaking engagement in 2017. (PHOTO: Netwerk24)

A recent article in Die Burger regarding the settlement agreement concluded between Christian author Gretha Wiid and the Human Rights Commission (HRC), states as follows: “You may be a Christian and practise your religion, but you cannot use it to discriminate against others”.

This statement is an over-simplification and therefore a misrepresentation of the legal position in South Africa.

No hierarchy of rights
Firstly, our Constitution does not have a hierarchy of rights. This means that the fundamental right to sexual orientation and to freedom of religion, stand on equal footing. The State (including the HRC) has as much an obligation to protect the religious freedom of religious institutions and individuals, as it has an obligation to protect LGBT persons against unfair discrimination.

In fact, the constitutional prohibition on unfair discrimination does not only include sexual orientation, but specifically also prohibits unfair discrimination (by the State, or anyone else) on grounds of someone’s conscience, religion or belief.

This means, amongst other things, that when the State (including the HRC) investigates a complaint against a religious institution or person, it must adopt a neutral attitude and may not be biased simply because the State, or the particular State officials involved, do not hold the same religious convictions. (It is on this very point that the Colorado Human Rights Commission recently lost their case against a Christian baker in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop vs Colorado Civil Rights Commission in the US Supreme Court).

To emphasise, the Constitution does not prohibit discrimination (that is to treat different people differently). It only prohibits unfair discrimination. Whether discrimination is fair or unfair in a particular instance, depends on various factors including the context, the reason for the discrimination, etc.

This exercise is generally known as the “balancing of rights” and is aimed at reconciling, as far as possible, competing fundamental rights with one another so that the infringement of rights is minimalised and the enjoyment of rights maximised.

LGBT rights don’t always trump religious freedom
For this reason, and because every case has to be considered and judged on its own merits, it is wrong to say that LGBT rights always trump religious freedom, and that religion or belief may never be a reason to “discriminate”.

This is simply not what the Constitution or the Equality Act says, and no court has found this.

In the case of Minister of Home Affairs vs Fourie (2005) that legalised same-sex marriage in South Africa, the Constitutional Court specifically said that, in the interest of diversity, religious institutions retain the right not to solemnise same-sex marriages.

In other words, religious institutions may — on grounds of their Scriptural conviction that marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman — discriminate against LGBT persons in this regard, and it is not unfair.

It is also trite law that religious institutions have the right to terminate the membership of persons who do not hold to their principles and rules. In such a case, a complaint of “discrimination” against the religious institution will probably not succeed, as it is not unfair of a religious institution to expect that persons who voluntarily join themselves to the institution as members, should also subject themselves to the institution’s principles and rules.

In other words, in such a case, a religious institution may, on grounds of its / its members’ religious convictions and in the interest of safeguarding the uniform character of the institution, “discriminate” against such persons.

The right to say what you believe
Returning to Wiid’s case, it is unfortunate that the settlement agreement is being regarded as a “win-win situation” doing justice both to the rights of LGBT persons and Wiid’s religious freedom.

Our Constitutional Court has already on numerous occasions confirmed that s 15 of the Constitution does not only include the right to believe, but the right to say (also through teaching and preaching) what it is that one believes, and to live out one’s beliefs.

In this regard specifically, the Constitutional Court (per judge Albie Sachs) stated as follows in the case of National Coalition of Gay and Lesbian Equality vs Minister of Justice (1998): “those persons who for reasons of religious belief disagree with or condemn homosexual conduct, are free to hold and articulate such beliefs”.

In this case, Wiid’s right to say what it is she believes, and therefore her freedom of religion, has clearly been curtailed.

Freedom of religion — and the constitutional duty on the State (including the HRC) to protect it — is an empty promise if it does not also include the right to openly say what it is one believes, and why.

Freedom of speech is also one of the hallmarks of a democratic society and all of us — regardless of our religious convictions, or sexual orientation — should be concerned when the State starts telling us what we may and may not say.

That is not democracy — that is totalitarianism.

Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is a non-profit organisation working to protect and promote religious freedom in South Africa. To join the organisation or sign up for the Newsletter, visit www.forsa.org.za Also follow us on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”.




‘Nelson Mandela Bay’s Nehemiah vision can be used to rebuild city walls anywhere in SA’

Attendees at a poverty workshop pinpoint their outreaches on a Nelson Mandela Bay ward map. (PHOTO: Frankie Simpson).

Trevor Jennings of Transformation Christian Network (TCN) outlines a practical, city-wide, model for community upliftment that is being pursued in Nelson Mandela Bay (PE/Uitenhage/Despatch). The highly-collaborative model, inspired by the biblical figure Nehemiah, can be applied in any town or city in South Africa, he says.

Why is it that thousands of South Africans are involved in community outreach, yet the output is just not commensurate with our input?

The problem lies in the fact that our efforts are disconnected, and as a result there is a lack of traction in responding to the challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment.

Having identified the challenge, church leaders in Nelson Mandela Bay have joined forces in a programme which, we believe, will unite the people of the metro in order to rebuild the walls/wards of our city.

It is inspired by the Biblical tale of the priest and businessman Nehemiah who, from around 445 BC, led the people of Jerusalem to rebuild sections of its walls, one section at a time.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Nehemiah approach
The Nelson Mandela Bay Nehemiah approach is based on the city-wide management grid in the form of the municipal ward structure, which includes the building blocks of:

  • The municipal ward councillor and the members of the ward committee
  • Existing civic organisations
  • The churches and schools located in the specific ward
  • Health clinics and hospitals
  • Key players in the Safety and Security Sector ie SAPS, Neighbourhood Watch and Peace Monitors.

We will rebuild the social and economic walls of the wards one at a time by helping and empowering civil society, business and the local political leadership to work together to provide jobs and hope for all our citizens through sustainable economic development at micro and macro levels.

Historical segregation has left many wards under-resourced. This is where partnerships with reputable NGOs, church groups and businesses are needed to identify and address the most critical social issues — one ward at a time.

Framework of the Nehemiah Model
We believe that the Nehemiah Model provides the necessary framework for us to work together. Firstly, it provides the compelling vision we need to unite people around an implementable and sustainable plan of action.

Secondly, it addresses the needs of the whole metro — no ward will be left out.

Thirdly, we have the tools needed to identify real needs. These tools include input from NGOs on the ground in the wards, socio-economic profiles of the wards, social mapping, and the Integrated Development Plan of the municipality.

Fourthly, collaboration and implementation are made easier when key drivers such as NGOs, infrastructure and businesses are already in place. Potential partners would include: Siya Sebenza, ABCD and Farming God’s Way.

We are using a geographic information system to plot where the resources and existing projects are in the metro in order to avoid duplication.

Finally, we are focused on the five priority areas identified in the South African Council of Churches “The SA we pray for”. These are healing and reconciliation; restoration of the family; addressing inequality, poverty and unemployment; economic transformation; and anchoring democracy.

Practical projects in the fields of education, health and local job creation will be addressed by business and NGOs.

The focus areas of healing and reconciliation, restoration of the family, economic transformation and anchoring democracy are being dealt with by the Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leadership Network.

Should you be interested in helping to rebuild the walls of the metro or to find out more please contact info@tcn.org.za.

This article was signed by:
Pastor Daan Botha: Harvest Christian Church
Dean Mark Derry: Vicar General Anglican Church of PE
Bishop Jacob Freemantle: Methodist Church of SA (Grahamstown District)
Apostle Neville Goldman: Ebenezer International
Reverend Howard Hans: Chairperson Metro SACC
Dr Bukelwa Hans: Provincial Vice President of the SACC
Pastor Mary-Rose Jacobs: Secretary NMB Religious Leaders Desk
Reverend Themba Mahuwa: Branch Secretary SACC, NMB Metro Branch
Reverend Danie Mouton: Director Synod Eastern Cape DRC
Reverend Rory Spence: Moderator Presbyterian Church (Central & Southern Cape)
Dr Dave Pedersen: Fountain Vineyard Church
Pastor Russell Viljoen: Chairperson NM Bay Church Leaders Group
Pastor Johannes Welskit: Regional Leader EC AFM
Bishop Vincent Zungu: Catholic Diocese PE
Trevor Jennings: TCN