The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says the country is just a few inches from becoming a mafia state, from which there will be no return. Churches are grappling with the question of when to withdraw recognition of the moral legitimacy of a democratically elected government. "It seems sufficiently clear to us that the government of the day has lost the moral radar that should inform the public service of Batho Pele, in a ‘people first’ governmental culture," SACC general secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana said on Thursday. The SACC held a public briefing on its "unburdening panel", which was created in April 2016 following the disclosures of state capture and allegations of corruption made by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor. They both spoke of interference in the work of the government by the politically connected Gupta family. The churches created the panel, chaired by SACC president Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa, to offer a "safe space...

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