Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "This peaceful elections auger well for the future stability of our political system", say the South African Bishops in a message in which they rejoice at the successful holding of municipal elections on 3 August (see Fides 6/8/2016).
"People of South Africa can take credit for the recent local elections who all agree were free and fair. Democracy itself was the victor", say the Bishops who praise the work of the Independent Electoral Commission and express their gratitude "to the Justice and Peace commission and to the many observers from our church who patriotically served the nation. We give thanks to God for the growing maturity of our democracy and we praise all political parties who have accepted the outcome".
"The election result - write the Bishops - may herald in a new phase in the history of our democracy involving coalition government, realistic opposition politics and greater responsibility in the exercise of power".
This is why they appeal "to the various political parties to avoid a winner-take-all mentality. Our Country faces huge problems of social trauma; unemployment, inequality, racism, violence, drugs abuse and family breakdown". Politicians are encouraged to take care of these wounds by recalling that "the quality of life of the nation is measured by the care given to the poor, to children of all ages and all the marginalised".
"In this election our people have spoken, they demand change; they expect service and are tired of corruption, maladministration and being ignored. God will be with us if we create a future based on respect for human dignity", the Bishops conclude. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 23/08/2016)