President Ramaphosa Meets Religious Leaders
(For Immediate Release)
As part of an on-going engagement with national religious leaders in South Africa, the presidency hosted a virtual meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa on 2nd September, 2020.
During the meeting a wide range of issues were raised by the religious leaders who among them were representatives from the Jamiatul Ulama South Africa (JUSA), the United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA), and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC).
The religious leaders highlighted their concerns on corruption which has permeated various levels of government and threatens to tear apart the moral fibre of the country, draining resources of the state and weakening institutions for service delivery. Corrupt malpractices have not spared even an emergency fund set aside for Covid-19 relief, at a time when measures to contain the pandemic in an already struggling economy, drove masses into even deeper economic hardship.
Police brutality was another concern which the religious leaders cited and wanted the president to address, as a matter of urgency. Eldorado Park has in the recent past been gripped by violent protests that erupted around the death of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julius, allegedly shot by a police detective.
Religious leaders also requested the president to consider further easing Covid-19 risk-adjusted restrictions on places of worship to allow for the accommodation of at least fifty percent capacity of congregational halls and space.
On their part, the Ulama contingent participating in the virtual meeting, raised the issue of a growing Islamophobic sentiment across the country. The recent Durban high court ruling that awarded an openly self-confessing Islamophobe against the calling of the adhaan at Isipingo Beach’s Madrasah Taleemudeen is a case in point.
The president lamented the development and emphasised how interfaith harmony and mutual recognition is a cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy. He called upon all community leaders to foster unity and common understanding.
President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged to look into all these matters and respond accordingly, in due course.
Jamiatul Ulama South Africa
14 Muharram 1442 / 03 September 2020