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World news in brief

09 December 2022


The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, speaks to the press after attending the African National Congress’s National Working Committee meeting in Johannesburg, on Sunday

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, speaks to the press after attending the African National Congress’s National Working Committee m...

Dr Makgoba: Elder should lead South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA should be ruled by a respected elder, leading a government of national unity until the next election, if President Ramaphosa loses the political support of his party, the Archbishop of Cape Town, Dr Thabo Makgoba, has said. The President is accused of stashing a huge sum of foreign currency in a sofa on his game farm, then covering up its theft (News, 17 June). He has denied any wrongdoing. In a statement last week, Archbishop Makgoba said that no one should be above the law, “but to pass final judgement on a person based on what is in effect a board of preliminary investigation, which has not made a final determination of the facts, could lead to lawlessness.” He continued: “If the President loses the political support of his party before a final determination of his conduct is made, I call for the establishment of a government of national unity under a respected elder to stabilise the country until the next election.” The African National Congress “seems to be in meltdown”, he said, and suggested that South Africans were becoming impatient with a governing party “at war with itself”.


Canadian National Indigenous Archbishop elected

THE next National Indigenous Archbishop in the Anglican Church of Canada and Presiding Elder of the Sacred Circle is to be the Bishop of Saskatoon, the Rt Revd Christopher A. Harper, it was announced this week. He succeeds the Most Revd Mark MacDonald, who resigned in April over allegations of sexual misconduct (News, 22 April).


Bishop-elect of Florida humiliated, he says

THE Bishop-elect of Florida, the Revd Charlie Holt, has said that he remains committed to the diocese, despite the “humiliation” of a second formal challenge to his election. “I cannot think of anything else in my life that has forced me to my knees to crawl under the altar of Calvary as this process has done,” he wrote in an email to the diocese on Monday, referring to his pilgrimage to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. “It has been a true humiliation in every sense of that word.” His first election was nullified after months of disputes over the process (News, 28 October). He was re-elected in November (News, 25 November), when further objection was filed on similar grounds.


KELLY LATIMOREThe portrait of the late Matthew ShepardWashington portrait of hate-crime victim unveiled

WASHINGTON NATIONAL CATHEDRAL has unveiled a specially commissioned portrait of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student whose murder in 1998 sparked a national outcry against homophobic violence. The portrait by the Episcopalian iconographer Kelly Latimore, commissioned by LGBTQ+ members of the cathedral staff, was unveiled on Thursday of last week, which would have been Mr Shepard’s 46th birthday. It is on display in the crypt, where his ashes were interred in 2018, 20 years after his death.


Rishi Sunak urged to act over East Africa famine

THE Prime Minister must act now to help prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in East Africa, three former International Development Secretaries and the heads of UK aid agencies, including Christian Aid, have told him. In a joint letter, they wrote: “East Africa is facing a catastrophic hunger crisis caused by one of the worst droughts in living memory.” The region was in “a famine in all but name. Despite the rapidly mounting death toll, the international response is woefully underfunded, and the UK has failed to do its bit.” The UK has confirmed an allocation of £156 million for East Africa in 2022, which, the letter says, is less than one fifth (18 per cent) of the £861 million provided in 2017 during the last hunger crisis in the region. Christian Aid’s chief executive, Patrick Watt, said: “East Africa must not be forgotten. It is past time that government ministers lived up to their responsibility.”

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