Politically motivated killings in ANC circles in Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) were condemned by local church leaders this week in a statement released by Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth, on behalf of the NMB Consultation of Christian Churches (NMBCCC).
Referring to the recent murder of a senior NMB traffic officer, Owen Camagu, in a hit-style shooting, Nopece’s statement was in line with local speculation that his death was linked to his opposition to corruption in the traffic department.
The full NMBCCC statement reads: “We wish to note with concern the continued gunning down of people in this our Metro community, especially within the political arena of the African National Congress. The brutal killing of Mr Owen Camagu of Kwa-Dwesi is deplorable and we condemn it in the strongest terms available and in the true sense of the word, and we condemn it in the name of Christ who commands us to love one another and not to harm any person created in the image of God. Those who have done this have judgement hanging upon them until they repent of such actions and do what is acceptable to the Almighty. We cannot afford, in the 18 years of our democracy, to live in an unsafe environment, where freedom is supposed to create safety and security for all people. Self-centredness and personal gain seem to be the order of the day for those comrades and bureaucracy, who intend to fill their bellies at the expense of the poor, hungry, exploited, voiceless people of God.
“Mr Camagu stood for the truth. May his blood be a constant reminder to those who have killed him deep down in their conscience that human life remains sacred before God, who judges all people. As the church in the city we express our condolences to his wife, Khosi and his children and the rest of his relations. May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory. People of this Metro, continue to pray for peace, love and patriotism among all parties and groups. Pray also for the South African Police Service that the Lord will continue to protect them and give them vigilance and wisdom to catch the perpetrators of such atrocities.
“May God continue to bless this Metro and bless those set in authority over us with Zanoxolo Wayile, the Mayor of the city, together with all councillors.”