Christian women in Gauteng will be participating in a women’s march at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Saturday to speak out against rising gender-based violence, unemployment and crime and for the reopening of churches.
Pastor Thobile Magerman of Victorious Life Church, one of the organisers of the event, told Gateway News that women, who make up 68% of an average church membership, find solace, healing and acceptance in church.
“With the prolonged [Covid-19] restrictions, which honestly have become unnecessary, because even long-distance public transportation is at full capacity, entertainment centres are full, yet the one place that is some kind of a refuge for us is a place that is still restricted.
“A church that takes about a thousand people — if you say only 250 people may go, then what about the 750?” said Magerman.
Calling for churches to be opened to at least 50% capacity, she said: “We deem it as a gross injustice — and an injustice to the Church is an injustice to women. And we want to remind our government that they declared this year, 2021, the ‘Year of Charlotte Maxexe’. Charlotte Maxexe was a freedom stalwart — she fought against the government of the National Party and she was also a very high-ranking leader in the Church. So, if you say it is the ‘Year of Charlotte Maxexe’, do you know what she stood for and why are you denying us our liberties?”
She said she attended the last consultation between the government and the religious sector, where religious leaders asked with one voice for the church to be opened to 50%. But it seemed their voice was not listened to, which was worrying as there is no indication that the pandemic will end soon, she said.
We are not irresponsible people. We have the best interests of people at heart in calling for church restrictions to be lifted. We believe that Jesus is the answer.” she said.
She said women from all regions of Gauteng have responded to the call to join Saturday’s march.
“Due to Covid protocols we closed our registration at 500,” she said.
Magerman said the meeting will be addressed by various speakers and they will hand over a memorandum to a representative of the 0ffice of the President.