Pastoral Letter to The Laos of Eswatini

Published on 6th July 2021

Dear People of God,

Since the sad and untimely death of Bishop Ellinah Ntombi Wamukoya of Covid-19 related complications last year, the Canons (laws) of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa dictate that, as Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Church, I act as Bishop of her Diocese until the election of her replacement. 

It is therefore in my capacity as Archbishop, as Bishop of the Diocese and as a simple pastor concerned for people's welfare, that I reassure not only Anglicans but all the people of eSwatini of my love and prayers at this difficult time.

The Gospels require that I do not point to a speck of dust in the eye of another and ignore the log in my own eye. (Matthew 7:3; Luke 6:41) Thus it is in full awareness of the problems in other countries in the region that I urge the people of eSwatini not to get caught up in cycles of conflict.

In the midst of the turmoil that many of you are experiencing, I urge you not to resort to violence, nor to the excessive use of State power, as you confront your current challenges. For violence begets more violence, and injury and death generate anger which makes problems only more difficult to resolve.

As a bishop and a pastor, while I am bound not to compromise the truth, I am primarily called to a ministry of reconciliation. As I have always advocated in places where there is no peace, I urge you all to repudiate the use of force, to sit around a table, and to talk to one another with the aim of finding an amicable Swazi solution to the challenges that the Kingdom is facing.

As well as reassuring you of my prayers and my willingness to do what I can to support efforts for a peaceful and just solution, I also want to urge the organs of SADC to come alongside the Swazi people when invited, in order to journey with them to finding a lasting solution.

May God bless all the Swazi people at this time.

By Archbishop Thabo Makgoba

+Thabo Cape Town

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