An open letter to his divine grace Dr Engenas Joseph Lekganyane

Mabila Mathebula, is an author and life coach, has a PhD in construction management. Picture: Supplied

Mabila Mathebula, is an author and life coach, has a PhD in construction management. Picture: Supplied

Published Nov 13, 2023


Mabila Mathebula

Salutation to his Divine Grace Dr Engenas Joseph Lekganyane. I thought it prudent to put etiquette to the side and put pen to paper.

I would like record the debt I owe to the Unisa council who took the decision to confer the honorary degree on you in recognition of your “outstanding achievements and globally impactful societal contributions to peace, social cohesion, social capital, as well as successful and resilient African-imitated institutions in the 21st century”.

The Unisa council has laid upon you a heavy burden of responsibility, which you accepted with gratitude and humility, which humility is a virtue to be imitated. To borrow language from Professor Sizwe Mabizela, you have graduated, “at the time when our country is at a crossroad … at a time when our nation is engulfed with anger, turbulence, and racial polarisation. You are graduating in a society in which greed, corruption, deceit and malfeasance have been perfected into an art form”.

In Luke 12:48, it is written that from everyone who has been given much, much will be required. Simply put, much is now expected of you to guide our country spiritually during this tumultuous period. Your doctoral degree is the noontide of your spiritual career.

Aluta Nova, a new struggle has begun. You passionately addressed the issue of drug abuse recently at Zion City Moria when President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Holy City this year. Crime syndicates and organised crime have become our main problem in South Africa. Our Constitution is the best in the world, yet our police officers are frequently frustrated by our legal system that often imposes soft sentences and minimal amounts of bail on drug dealers.

It is ironic that the punishment does not fit the crime. Unless drug dealers are faced with the full might of the law, they will continue unabated to infiltrate and poison our children, placing the democracy we worked hard for at grave risk.

In 1995, president Nelson Mandela wrote: “Drugs and all their accompanying destructive consequences of crime, violence and breakdown of the family are creeping upon the nation, and they threaten to undermine the fabric of our society. We must fight this threat with all the strength that we can muster.”

All our hopes are hinged upon you to lead us in prayer to destroy this beast.

Another thorny problem that warrants your spiritual attention is white- and blue-collar crime. I am aware, of course, that the problem cannot be solved with the wave of a magic wand. Crime is an ancient problem. In ancient times, Jericho was one of the cities set apart for priests but there was crime even during the time of Zacchaeus who was a white-collar criminal.

Criminals have no respect for faith-based organisations anymore. I remember that when I was growing up, the ZCC was looked down upon. I was once punished at boarding school for attending a ZCC devotional service. The ignorant teacher told me that the ZCC was not a church. That was when I realised that children had a natural sense of justice. What surprised me during the dark days was that criminals would not dare rob a ZCC member of their possessions or break into a ZCC home.

Today, criminals have no respect for the church, people are being robbed and killed at places of worship. Churches had been closed during the Covid -19 lockdown and now people are threatened by criminals when they are in the house of the Lord

Town planning during apartheid factored in old-age homes and a huge chunk of the budget went into senior citizens. I hope that you will be the torch bearer of old-age homes in black communities.

May God will give you strength to intercede for our beloved country.

Mathebula, an author and life coach, has a PhD in construction management.

The Star

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