The Johannesburg Fire: A Prayer…

All-compassionate God – you are the God who sees the misery of your people and who hears their cries. You are the one who actively inspires liberation and healing for all people everywhere. For this reason, we trust our prayers to you today. We trust our prayers to you because we trust you are who Jesus tells us you are – an all-compassionate God.

All-compassionate One, our prayers are for those who died in the Johannesburg fire this week, for those who were injured and all those grief-stricken. We bring them before you. We bring them not as strangers but as family members. Family members known to you, yet not known by us. We know the statistics; you know their names. We know the number of the dead; you have been lovingly present to them all of their days. You have known their longings and hopes and dreams. You know each of their life-stories, you were with them on the journey they took to reach and settle in that building. You witnessed their courage and perseverance. Some of them would have praised you for providing such a place. A terrible place yet, the best terrible place they could find.

Lord, there are no words in our vocabulary – that are able to hold the trauma and grief we have witnessed this past week. Yet when our words fail, we take strength in knowing that your Spirit helps us in our weakness, that when we do not know how to pray, your Spirit intercedes for us, with sighs that are deeper than our words.

Intercede Lord by your life-giving and comforting Spirit, yes, for these prayers spoken here and now, but most crucially intercede by your Spirit through the sighs of all those most painfully involved…

For the silent sighs of those who died in their sleep – breathing in smoke without knowing they were breathing in death.

For the gasping sighs – of those awake to the fact that the fire was stealing their oxygen.

For panicked sighs of those terrifyingly trapped. Blinded by smoke. Blocked by flame.

For the screaming sighs – calling out in search of child, in search of parent.

For the desperate sighs of helplessness. No way out.

For the sighs of defeat in the choice of death: Death by flame or death by falling.

For the sighs of the brave – deep breaths of courage – risking their lives to rescue and resuscitate.

For the sighs of those who attended to the tragic scene – who fought the fire, who carried the dead, who wrapped body after body.

For the sighs of relatives, identifying body after body.

For the sighs of those broken by grief – taken to edge of insanity.

For the sighs of those who are alone – with no one to process this pain with.

For the sighs of everlasting trauma that will mark every future breath.

All-compassionate God – soften our hearts and fill us with compassion to see as you see and hear as you hear – that we too may actively facilitate liberation and healing in our land and world. Forgive us for our instincts to blame the victims for their fate. For searching for scapegoats to hold responsible.  For scoring political points. For shirking responsibility.

Forgive us above all for our lack of compassion that allows suffering to go unnoticed and unattended every day in every corner of this country. Finally, only arresting our attention when gigantic tragedy results as the consequence of our indifference.

All-compassionate God have mercy and may your mercy move us to bring justice for the poorest of the poor. So be it.

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Fast to Reclaim Parliament


Fast to Reclaim Parliament

Remove Sfiso Buthelezi and All Corrupt MPs

Implement Zondo Recommendations

Corruption Causes Hunger

 Most working-class people in our country and across the world worry about where their next meal will come from. Millions go hungry every day. The members of our movements, campaigns, organisations and their children go hungry too. State capture, corruption, fraud, mismanagement and maladministration has destroyed most entities such as PRASA, Eskom, Transnet and most departments at all levels of government.

Corruption and greed have cost lives, increased unemployment, inequality and hunger.

BUT we are prepared to show Parliament that hunger will not deter us from struggling to reclaim parliament and #FixTheState.

#UniteBehind, Zackie2024, and Movement for Change and Social Justice (MCSJ) call on you to join our three-day fast outside Parliament on 20-22 Sept 2023.

We take this action because nobody trusts Parliament any longer. Former Presidents Thabo Mbeki, the criminally convicted Jacob Zuma and the current President Cyril Ramaphosa have all promoted and protected corrupt Ministers and MPs.

Sfiso Buthelezi, Robben Island Museum and PRASA

Nowhere is this more evident than in the case of Sfiso Buthelezi who is one of the most senior MPs and the current Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Appropriations and responsible for allocating the budget.

Buthelezi is the former chair of the PRASA Board. He orchestrated state capture at the State-Owned Entity (SOE), which caused its ultimate destruction leaving millions of working-class people without safe, affordable, reliable and quality commuter rail services. A former political prisoner himself, Buthelezi tested the blueprint for state capture and corruption at the Robben Island Museum which is a world heritage site and a symbol of resistance to slavery, colonialism and apartheid.

Buthelezi succeeded in paralysing the Robben Island Museum when his ferry company, Autshumatu (Pty) Ltd broke their contract and demanded millions of rands for an inefficient, unaffordable and unreliable ferry service. The capture of the Robben Island Museum Board, management and the deployment of corrupt employees was promoted by Zuma and his state security agents.

The Auditor General, Public Protector, Treasury, Werksmans, the Courts, the Zondo Commission and the Hawks

The Auditor-General, former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, Treasury, Werksmans Attorneys, the Courts, the Hawks and Chief Justice Zondo exposed the role of Buthelezi and the Boards he led, in state capture at PRASA. They recommended that he and they be investigated and charged for his corruption at PRASA. Charges were also laid against Buthelezi and his gang with the Hawks and the National Prosecution Authority.

#UniteBehind filed complaints with Parliament’s Ethics Committee against Buthelezi and five other MPs responsible for PRASA’s demise, as identified by the State Capture Commission of Inquiry. However, Parliament has failed to act on five of the six complaints. Instead of Parliament calling Buthelezi to account, he has remained Chair of the Standing Committee on Appropriations. #UniteBehind is in court against Parliament and the Ethics Committee for secretly protecting the corrupt former Ministers and MPs.

Buthelezi remains protected by the ANC, Parliament, the Hawks and the NPA.  Together, we must make his name and face a symbol of corruption.

Today, Sindisiwe Chikunga, the longest serving Deputy-Minister of Transport who was a part of the state capture gang at PRASA is the Minister protecting another corrupt Board.

The Zondo Commission

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector and Organs of State Commission made structural recommendations to create an open, responsive and accountable Parliament that puts the needs of people first through holding the President, Cabinet Ministers and the state accountable.

Chief Justice Zondo recommended that Parliamentary committees’ resources be increased, and an Oversight Advisory section be created. Further, the he recommended that Parliament play a central role in appointing Boards of SOEs, such as PRASA. Parliament has not implemented these and other crucial recommendations.

We are asking individuals, community-based organisations, and political parties to endorse our call for the removal of corrupt MPs and the implementation of the Zondo Recommendations.

We call on you to join our 72-hour fast on 20-22 Sept 2023 for as long as you are able. This call only applies to people who are able to fast.

If you would like to speak or hold an event during the fast, please reach out to us.

Thank you for your support. Let’s reclaim Parliament and #FixTheState together!


Join us at Central Methodist Church, 151 Longmarket St, Cape Town, on Thursday 31 Aug 2023 at 09:30. 

#UniteBehind, Movement for Change and Social Justice and Zackie2024 invite you to join our public briefing on state capture at Parliament, our demands and programme for the fast.

Buthelezi and his gang have also taken Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and the Zondo Commission to court. At the public breifing, #UniteBehind will announce the launch of its case to defend Zondo Commission’s findings and further expose Buthelezi and others.

Please send an endorsement of this campaign to include in our programme for the public briefing. 











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