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Cape Regional Synod on passing of President Nelson Mandela
(6 December 2013)
The Executive of the Cape Synod of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa has learnt with sadness that former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela has passed on.
We remember and celebrate the tremendous contribution he has made towards a new democratic order in our country, his commitment to the poor and disadvantaged and his inclusive vision for a united South Africa
where it's rich diversity will be fully celebrated and South Africa will truly belong to all who live in it.
Mr Mandela insisted that South Africans must strive towards real reconciliation, fundamental justice and a united people. In this regard he lived and embodied the biblical values that our church has expressed in
the Belhar Confession.
 
TRIBUTE TO PRESIDENT NELSON ROLIHLAHLA MANDELA (18 July 1918 – 5 December 2013)
(6 December 2013)
The Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), together with the people of South Africa and the world, has learned with great sadness and a deep sense of loss of the passing of our beloved President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of a democratic South Africa. As a Church we are united in our grief with his wife Ms Graca Machel, the Mandela and Machel families, the nation and the world.
President Mandela was a humble servant of the people, serving in a collective responsibility. "I stand before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people, " he said in his first speech after his release from prison on 11 February 1990 on the balcony of the Cape Town City Hall. That was the character of the man. Although he resisted secular canonization, we must and wish to pay tribute to him, for the man and leader he was.
 
A NEW POLITICAL AND ELECTORAL SYSTEM
(6 October 2012)
Since 1994 South African elections were held on the basis of proportional representation (pr). Voters cast their ballots for a list of candidates nominated by a political party of their choice rather than for individual candidates. The PR system provides all parties no matter how small, with representation in the national legislature proportional to their electorate. The PR provides for the representation of South Africa's racial minorities and people with particular interests without resorting to the creation of reserved seats and separate voters rolls for different racial groups, as in some countries. The PR system is thus a non –racial system to facilitate racial representation, if parties would as expected, draw the most of their support from different racial and ethnic groups. This is a good system for an emerging democracy as ours, with its race and racial issues. The system is also good for a nation in transition. This however, the current political system fails to really empower the electorate. We have no power to hold the elected officials accountable for their performance and delivery.
This system does not allow legislators to be held accountable individually. The electorate can do nothing to effect change in the interim to the next election. Legislators are protected by their parties, because their parties nominate them and send them to parliament in some cases. These representatives don't even know what the needs of their local communities are and deal with it. Despite minor reforms that were made to the system, such as assigning members of the National Assembly to areas, where they don't even reside, does not suffice. Because these legislators are not representing defined geographic areas and communities, they are not accessible to members of the public. The PR weakens the vital link between government and the public/ electorate that are the essence of democracy. It is not surprising that all the major parties endorsed the continuation of this system, because it places power in their hands and disempowering the electorate.
 
Corrective Rape
(6 October 2012)
2. This General Synod of URCSA in session at Okahandja in Namibia:
Has noted with deep concern and shock the high incidence of the so-called corrective rape of women of lesbian orientation in South Africa's townships. We also note that this vicious practice is further accompanied by extreme violence to the victims of these assaults.
3 This Church unreservedly declare our full support for the victims. We identify with their plight. We fully reject this horrendous practice and urge our congregations and communities to protect and support these women.
4. We make a special call on the SA government to fulfill its obligations through the security forces to do everything in their power to protect the rights and humanity of our sisters.
 
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