Religious Leaders to Stage Silent Protests on Death of Citizens at the Hands of Security Forces

The SACC is an instrument and servant of its members.

Media Statement

7 June 2020

Issued by the office of the SACC General Secretary, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana.
Silent Protest by Faith Leaders in light of brutality by law enforcement officers
The South African Council of Churches has been shocked to learn of the final declaration of the SANDF on the death of Collins Khosa with absolving the Defence Force members involved in his death. “This is unreal!”, exclaimed Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, SACC General Secretary, “It feels like we’ve been here before, yes, in apartheid days; or in George Floyd’s Minneapolis! What a week to announce this ‘No One to Blame’ verdict!”; said Mpumlwana, invoking the title of Advocate George Bizos’ book on his quest for justice for victims of apartheid police brutality.

Faith leaders, alarmed by these developments, are gripped in lament and despair over the deaths of innocent people at the hands of law enforcement officers. Since the enforcement of the lockdown in South Africa, at least 12 people are believed to have died at the hands of police and military officers deployed by the State to enforce lockdown regulations. Whilst everybody recognises that investigations are still ongoing, the reality of the deaths of these citizens, is of serious concern, and a blot on the tapestry of our constitutional democracy.

Religious leaders will, from 12 noon to 13:00 on Sunday June 7, stage silent prayers of protest at St Albans Anglican Cathedral where SACC General Secretary and other leaders will be. At the same time other protest prayers will be conducted, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba will be with faith leaders at the Cape Town St George’s Anglican Cathedral, also from 11:00 to 12:00. 

As we mourn the deaths of the #Lockdown12, we intend to remember and make known their names:

  • #CollinsKhosa – Male, 40 died in Alexandra, Johannesburg on 10 April 2020 (Good Friday)
  • #PetrusMiggels – Male, 55 died in Ravensmead, Cape Town on 27 March 2020
  • #SibusisoAmos – Male, 40 died in Vosloorus, Ekhurhuleni on 29 March 2020
  • #AdaneEmmanuel – Male died in Isipingo, Durban on 2 April 2020
  • #RobynMontsumi – Female, 39 died in Mowbray police station, 12 April 2020
  • #Unnamed7

We also want to stand in solidarity with our siblings in the United States in light of the brutal murders of:

  • #GeorgeFloyd – Male 46, murdered on 25 May 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • #AhmaudArbery – Male 25, murdered on 23 February 2020 in Glynn County, Georgia
  • #BreonnaTaylor – Female 26, murdered on 13 March 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky
  • #AtatianaJefferson – Female 26, murdered on 12 October 2019 in Fortworth, Texas
  • #UnnamedOthers

Details for the silent vigil are as follows:
Sunday 7 June 2020
Time:12:00 until 13:00
Venue:St Alban’s Anglican Cathedral on Frances Baard Street, Pretoria.

Our intention is that this silent vigil will be a clear expression of our disdain for the current brutality exhibited by our police and defence forces and to call for greater accountability and justice for these families. We are also standing in the gap for ordinary citizens who are equally experiencing the grief and mourning that this current moment has brought  upon us.

Order of events

  • 12 of our leaders will stand in the gap for the #Lockdown12  plus 1 leader who will stand in the gap for our fallen siblings in the USA.
  • For the first 51 minutes (i.e. until 12:51), we will be standing in silence honouring the names of the fallen slain as a demonstration of support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement both locally and globally.
  • For the remaining 9 minutes, from 12:51 until 13:00, we will kneel in silence whilst the bell at St Alban’s Anglican cathedral will ring until the top of the hour. This will be done in honour of George Floyd and our Black and Brown siblings in the USA who have died unjust deaths.
  • Thereafter we will be able to engage any members of the media who are present.

For information on these events only, contact:
Lovelyn Nwadeyi (JHB)
C: +27 83 200 7157                           

Nomfundo Walaza (CPT)
C: 082 567 1456