[notice] SPECIAL REPORT by Pastor Bongani Mgayi on a Cape Town stadium prayer day yesterday at which leaders of taxi associations (CATA and CODETA) who were once sworn enemies asked the public to forgive them for the harm they had caused through their bitter rivalry. Faced with the challenge of reporting on the day, Bongani said: “It’s hard to put things on paper. The day was an overwhelming success. The Lord, was victorious yesterday and He showed us He can really do anything. No one could imagine the hearts of these violent, rough men could ever be changed. Yesterday we witnessed them being broken by the Lord.
The prayer day was a huge success. We started the morning with a group of about 40 made up of pastors, taxi leaders, and intercessors praying at Site C taxi rank. The rank belongs to CODETA taxi association. Here we dedicated this rank and all others belonging to the taxi associations to God. The senior taxi leaders then repented and prayed for forgiveness for all the things done by them. The whole group then prophetically spoke blessings, safety and peace over all the taxis.
At the stadium I opened the service with a reminder that Jesus is the reason we were gathered there that morning, and that Jesus as our Lord was the only one who can bring everlasting peace.
We had asked Adriaan Vlok, former Minister of Law and Order under the apartheid government if he was willing to come and speak to the community. He accepted the invitation and paid for his own flights. He said in his address: “Apartheid was wrong, it was evil. Though I never created it, I fully supported it.”
He then addressed the crowd in the stadium: “Apartheid hurt you and I want to say sorry. I am asking for forgiveness.”
After Vlok washed the feet of the taxi leaders, the chaplain of SANTACO (South African National Taxi Council), Pastor Ivan Waldeck and the SANTACO president, M J Msiza, and secretary general of SANTACO, Phillip Taaibosch, also insisted on washing Vlok’s feet. They were joined by the members and president of the Khayelitsha Ministers Fraternal and Kenneth Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party, who also washed Vlok’s feet and blesed him.
Vernon Billet, the executive chairman of SANTACO Western Cape said even his children were too ashamed to tell friends at school that their father was a taxi operator. He said to his daughter at the stadium: “Don’t be ashamed anymore; we are changing.”
Taaibosch pleaded with the community to give the taxi industry another chance. He lamented how the people in the taxi industry were not treated as human – they were treated as “elements”. He then led a prayer with all the taxi operators standing in the stadium, confessing their wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness.
Msiza talked about how taxis were once seen as always being there for the community, being ambulances when government ambulances were too afraid to go into townships at night; being the police, keeping order in times of unrest; being the transport for political leaders running from the apartheid police; and being the only transport in the community. He said, the industry had since lost its valued place in society and was hated by both the Government and the community. He said that nobody supported the taxi industry, even when they had a grievance or were experiencing trouble. He asked the Church and Christian leaders not to walk far from the taxi industry, and to help restore the industry.
Waldeck, then led a prayer of confession listing the atrocities and evil deeds which were done by the taxi industry: the list included murder, killings, corruption and immorality. He then prayed a close to this era of the taxi industry by symbolically closing the door of an old taxi with the words “violence, corruption, murder” written on it. He then prayed a prayer of repentance and asked for the Lord’s forgiveness.
Waldeck then declared a new beginning in the taxi industry. He prophetically opened a new door, referring to words written on another taxi, about “education; Unashamedly Ethical; good business management; peace; forgiveness; and reconciliation”.
He then invited all ministers to pray with him as he led a prayer blessing the taxi industry, and speaking good things over the industry. Then everyone in the stadium stood as he led a prayer, dedicating the Western Cape and Cape Town to our Father in Heaven.
The day was filled with messages of forgiveness and repentance; songs of praise and worship to our Lord; the trumpet sound of shofars; dancing; fervent prayer and excitement. A group of youngsters who blessed the day with spiritual dance and a tribute to the Lord were flown there by Meshoe.
After the prayer event, people walked out of the stadium with broad smiles on their faces and positive expectations of things to come.