Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A need for reconciliation

The story of a young white teenager, going on the rampage in a black squattercamp, called Skielik, killing three people, including a 3 month old baby and a 10 year old boy is a chilling reminder of the need for true reconciliation and peace, in our country. Irrespective of the reports of the Beeld, who want (again) to 'derail' attention from the fact that this story indeed has a race connotation, and who now turns on the Mayor of this town, we know and experience that reconciliation and a peaceful co-existence between South Africans from all race and ethnic origins, is crucial. There's no point in hiding it, or writing it away, putting the blame on some-one else. We have to square up to it and pray and work for healing in our country. Our prayers as churches will have to be complemented with a prioritization of the reconciliation ministry, but also working towards establishing fully integrated and multi-coloured faith communities. As prof Botha indicated in his article, 'Die kerk se uur van waarheid', last week, that we ( as church) have to own up to the fact that we haven't yet transcended the racial divisions of the past. What role can a divided church play, where communities are up in arms with one another ? In the meantime, we have to applaud the farming community for handing over the boy and hope that this gesture will not go unnoticed. The 'Skielik' community as well as the farming community of Swartruggens in the Northwest are traumatized and need our prayers, but also cool heads in dealing with a explosive situation. May the leadership find wisdom, but also a pastoral process to address the immediate trauma.

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