THE Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, warned at the Easter vigil in St George’s Cathedral that “the darkness in our nation and in our world is very real.” But the darkness had to be confronted, he said.
“It may be difficult to speak about contemporary elements of darkness, but we must talk,” he said.
Preaching on Luke 24.1-12, he condemned what he called the “naked aggression” of the world’s great powers, “whether it is the United States and Britain in Iraq and Afghanistan, or Russia in Ukraine”.
He spoke about the darkness of hunger, unemployment, and gender-based violence that has engulfed South Africa post-Covid lockdowns, and spoke out against vigilante attacks on migrants from African countries, condemning those who “scapegoated” them and abused the rule of law.
“And, in the world beyond our borders, it is as if we are in an evening of violence, with the worst darkness still ahead of us. Think of the clamour of war in places as different as Tigray in Ethiopia, Unity State in South Sudan, Cabo Delgado in Mozambique, not to speak of the stalemate in Syria, and the ongoing fighting in Yemen and Ukraine: all places of great darkness and suffering today.”
The Archbishop had just returned on Saturday from a visit to Kwa-Zulu Natal, where he visited people affected by the worst floods in recorded history: hundreds died, and thousands of homes were destroyed, leaving many thousands of people displaced and communities left without water and electricity over the weekend. He also attended a meeting of religious, community, and religious leaders, including the Zulu King Misuzulu kaZwelithini, and he asked for donations through the Anglican Church of Southern Africa’s Relief Fund.
In his sermon, Dr Makgoba called the floods “a tragedy of overwhelming proportions”. He said: “I visited the community of Ntuzuma, in eThekwini, where streets have been destroyed and closed off, and displaced people are staying in a local hall.
“The community is suffering severe emotional stress and pain, and search-and-rescue efforts for those who are missing are still continuing.”
Before his visit to the area on Good Friday, he prayed for the communities affected by floods on the east coast of South Africa. “We trust in you, God, as we remain stuck on the cross of climate change and global warming,” he said.