‘Elections postponement prospect offers silver lining for raising righteous leaders’

Dr Michael Louis

The expected postponement of the upcoming local government elections would give South Africa more time to mobilise communities to register community forums to field righteous independent candidates, Dr Michael Louis, a leader of One South Africa (OSA) movement told Christian leaders during an online meeting last week.

He said about 28 community forums have been registered so far and if the elections are postponed to about March next year it will be feasible to aim for 100 of SA’s 237 municipalities to have community forums putting forward righteous leaders as independent candidates.

Reacting to a recommendation on Tuesday this week by former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke that the elections be postponed to February, Louis told Gateway News today that while OSA believes the elections should go ahead on constitutional grounds and to avoid extending national misery under ANC misrule, there will indeed be a silver lining of extra mobilisation time for communities if the elections are delayed.

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In his report to the IEC Moseneke says the Covid-19 pandemic precludes the possibility of holding a free and fair vote in October as scheduled.

Louis told the prayer webinar of the Christian Leaders Forum last week that last June’s Constitutional Court ruling that the Electoral Act was unconstitutional and should be amended to allow independents to stand for Parliament was a miracle.

He said the ruling had opened the door for creating a new electoral system that was needed to get disillusioned voters back to the polls and to get godly leaders who did not want to stand for political parties to make themselves available.

He said that since the 80% turnout of voters at SA’s inaugural democratic national election in 1994, voter interest had slumped to a point that more people stayed away (19.7 million) than voted (16.6 million) in the 2019 general election — one of the lowest voter turnouts in the world.

Louis said that stay-away voters — especially young people — have said: “Show us the leader show us his values and we will go to the polls to vote Don’t just put up a broomstick — meaning a political party — and expect us to vote.”

He said he was not anti political parties and believed they would always have an important role to play in SA’s democracy. But he said many SA citizens are hungry for a new electoral system that will deliver ethical leaders who are accountable to their communities and not to party bosses. They want a system that empowers the people to govern as envisioned in the Freedom Charter and the Constitution.

He said that a new electoral bill drafted by a group of seven legal technical people led by himself is currently in Parliament. He said it is also very encouraging that a ministerial advisory committee recently came out with a report that actually goes further than his group’s bill, by dividing the country into 200 constituencies rather than the 54 his team proposed.

He said it is important to use the opportunity of the municipal elections to demonstrate transfer or real power to local communities and to prepare for the next general election. 

He said a major breakthrough was identified by Section 15 of the Electoral Commission’s Act that says community forums may be established to field independent candidates who will enjoy the benefit of the proportional representation vote in the local government elections and have the potential to take back their municipalities.

He said that to date the School of Governance that had been established to equip prospective independent candidates had trained 120 people.

Zandile Vilikazai-Mwenda

Addressing the same online forum Zandile Vilakazi-Mwenda of Raising Righteous Rulers (RRR) said: “We are calling upon the Davids, the Daniels, the Josephs in the Church, Christian leaders of every kind, to stand up and take up their positions in the governance of the nation because the opportunity has come now. And as somebody has said, this is a window of opportunity that God has opened and there will never be another like it. And if we don’t do it now there’s not going to be another time.”

She said one of the greatest calamities to have hit the Church was the separation of Church and state with perhaps the majority of SA pastors believing Christians should stay out of governance of the nation.

While the Church has sat back and forsaken its mandate from Jesus to be the ecclesia — participating in making the laws of the land — the unrighteous have been ruling our nation, she said.

She urged leaders to speak to their congregations and constituencies to change mindsets that it is wrong for Christians to be involved in politics and government, and to identify and encourage those who have potential to serve communities and the nation in the governance sphere.

Vilikazi-Mwendu shared alarming statistics showing that SA is among the worst performers in the world regarding youth unemployment, corruption, rape, domestic violence, murder and teenage pregnancy. We also have CSE which is bringing pornography into schools, further sexualising children while school illiteracy and numeracy rates remain alarming.

“The situation is not an accident. It is because we’ve allowed the unrighteous to control the nation. The Church has sat back and allowed that to happen and the result has been a consistent effort by our government to remove God from our lives,” she said, referring to the removal of God from our Constitution and schools, cancelling the Christian curriculum for homeschooling and legalising abominations.

“Everything that the Bible says is sin has been legalised in this nation — abortion, killing of babies, prostitution, homosexuality, you name it. Recently the government has been passing laws to change our ID numbers because we must accommodate the transgender lobbyists. The school principles have now been amended also to accommodate transgender priorities, marriage officers are now forced to marry gay couples. It’s an outright war against God that is happening — all happening under the watch of the Church of Jesus Christ.”

Explaining the mission of the Raising Righteous Rulers movement, she said its goal is to activate the Church to get involved in governance. Currently their focus is on local government elections but believers need to be involved in every level of leadership in society, including school governing bodies.

She said the current opportunity to raise independent candidates trusted by their communities “is the great win because now the Church can choose Christian leaders. Churches can identify leaders from within the Church itself, back them up and send them out into the government into public office”.

She said RRR is available to assist churches and communities who identify candidates with the process of registering community forums and candidates. They can be reached on their website https://rrrsa.org/

Encouraging her audience to embrace the opportunity, she said that community forums are “literally transforming” our governance system. While independents have previously been allowed at local government level their position has been quite weak because it was very easy for them to be overpowered by political parties. The community forums give independents a better chance of getting seats in the council than they would have as individuals.

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