Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba says South Africans need to be liberated from their instinct to solving problems through violence.
During his Christmas eve sermon on Monday, Makgoba said it was worrisome that South Africans resorted to violence to solve their problems.
“We will not be able to say that the quality of life for ordinary South Africans has been improved by our liberation from oppression until we are also liberated from our instinct to solve problems through violence, whether in schools, in workplaces or in political campaigning,” he said.
Makgoba made reference to the many service delivery protests, strikes and incidents at schools where pupils were fighting each other and attacking teachers.
He said he wanted all South Africans to “examine” their behaviours and that of the institutions they worked closely with.
He said while South Africa was “a nation that has grown up believing that outcomes are achieved only through violence”, that needed to be acknowledged but at the same time addressed.
“The flames of darkness associated with violence need to be extinguished forever. We owe no less to the Prince of Peace,” said Makgoba.
He added that while various leaders from government, businesses and organised labour had a significant responsibility to provide moral leadership redefine how people disagreed, the ultimate solution was in the hands of individuals.
“The historical context of the interrelationship between protest and violence does not justify this psyche and behaviour,” Makgoba said.