I rise to extend warm and fraternal greetings to members of the family of Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi and his relatives, the leadership and congregants of the St. Paul Faith Mission International Church, the South African State President, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, dignitaries and fellow mourners from around and faraway places.
Emfuleni will forever pride itself for having being home to a respected independent church in the Southern African Development Community - St. Paul Faith Mission International Church.
The area of Small Farm in Emfuleni deserves a special mention in the Guinness World Book of Records, as it is home to historic churches like Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi’s St. Paul Faith Mission International Church and Prophet Christina Nku’s St. John’s Faith Mission International Church.
The community of the Emfuleni, previously known as the Vaal, is today joined by the international community from SADC countries and all over the world in mourning the passing-on of one of the religious and community leader, Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi. I rise to acknowledge the presence of fellow mourners from as far as Botswana, Zambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and many other countries to Emfuleni.
Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi was part of a contingent of leaders from Small Farm, one of our country’s oldest townships which have given birth to many extraordinary men and women who have tirelessly served human kind.
His Excellency the President, as we lay to rest this great religious guru who in the religious sector is known as a prophet and theologian, I welcome you and all to a holy place, one which Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi contributed to bring to the world map and one which is baptized by the blood of our people who were massacred in various massacres muted and or sponsored by the apartheid regime.
I welcome all of you to a treasure trove of history, a heritage site and the only region that bears the scars of the origin of the decisions of exclusivity and four deadly apartheid massacres which are the following:
- The Peace Treaty of Vereeniging of 31st May 1902, which brought an end to the hostilities between the two Boer Republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State and the English Colonies of Natal and Cape on the other side, on condition to form the whites only union of the four at the expense of the blacks in general and the African people in particular who t be excluded not only from being part of parliamentary decision making but also from socio-economic benefits and or rights of their mother land.
- The Sharpeville Massacre of the 21st March 1960, which altered the political landscape of our country, thereby bringing the focus of the whole world to South Africa due to the banning of people’s organizations. The world was shocked by how our leaders were vanishing with many handed long prison sentenced and many others forced into exile. As a result, the United Nations General Assembly convened a special sitting where apartheid was declared a crime against humanity, thereby vowing to support the liberation movement in South Africa led by the African National Congress and isolating the apartheid government.
- The Vaal Uprising of the 3rd of September 1984 which saw widespread protests against the apartheid government throughout the country, thereby further altering the political landscape of our country by rendering apartheid unworkable and South Africa ungovernable. It was this second wave of our struggle which saw the United Nations adopting the Harare Declaration drafted by the ANC as a precondition for settlement of the South African question. It was this historic adoption which forced the South African government onto the negotiation table leading to the unbanning of political organizations, the release of political prisoners and the return of our exiled leaders. This historic adoption started the talks about talks.
- The Sebokeng Night Vigil Massacre of the 12th January 1991 where more than 39 of our people were massacred by apartheid sponsored vigilantes in a failed attempt to intimidate our people and turn them against the liberation movement. On the contrary, this massacre fuelled people’s anger even more against the apartheid government, thereby accelerating the process of talks about talks.
- The Boipatong Massacre of 17 June 1992 which saw the collapse of Codesa 1 negotiations where about 45 of our people were brutally murdered in their sleep by the apartheid-sponsored Inkatha Impis. The massacre led to the collapse of Codesa 1 negotiations which reconvened under Codesa II and later emerged with a date for the first democratic elections of the country on the 27th of April 1994.
- To close the chapter of all the above, the first democratically elected President of our country, the great Nelson Mandela came to our shores to sign our world-acclaimed Constitution into law at the George Thabe Stadium on 10 December 1996. Throughout our painful history, our martyrs who laid down their lives fought for one thing: ‘Nothing for us without us!’
In exactly 17 days’ time, peace-loving people of this planet will be once again ascending to our shores to once again commemorate with us the massacre of our people on that fateful day of the 21st March 1960. May the souls those heroes and of Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi rest in perfect peace.
We are losing our torch-bearers; the true leaders of society are leaving us at a great pace. This great theologian and humanitarian has left an indelible mark, a void and a legacy we should all learn from. Ntate Moloi departs this earth at a time when the holy season of Easter is approaching – a period during which there would be a hive of activity at the St. Paul Church in Small Farm, as thousands of the church’s members visit our shores.
The greatest gift to human kind is love and peace – which are the two pillars of any religion. This is what Ntate Moloi embodied in his many years at the helm of the St. Paul Church. The greatest lesson in life is to live for others and die in the service of others. There is no greater achievement in life than this. Men of cloth have always been our moral compass at a time when social unrest and racial intolerance are dominating all discourse.
The contributions of Dr. Arch-Bishop Moloi and many others who who sacrificed their lives have helped shape and define the country we know today. By becoming active in community work, leaders like Dr. Arch-Bishop were always in the forefront to build not only South Africa but also nurture African Renaissance.
From my knowledge through intimate interaction with the Dr. Arch-Bishop, the African struggle for social cohesion and the South African struggle for nation building were always occupying priority in his mind. It is for this reason that acts of xenophobia such as those that are recently engulfing our motherland were always rejected in the teachings of the Arch-Bishop.
In welcoming you to our area of Emfuleni, please allow me to do it in the following manner:-
Firstly, let me thank our all our leaders from church leaders from different denominations, governments, political formations, civil society groups for having made time to be with us as we lay to rest this honorable man before us. We are really humbled.
Let me also thank his family and relatives for having stood by him even during the most difficult of times. You have allowed us a rare opportunity to be amongst those who have shared and witnessed his greatness. Our gratitude also goes to the fellow Apostolic Church International Council, congregants and the religious sector as a whole for the support they have afforded the Prophet throughout his life.
On behalf of the people of Emfuleni, I wish to send our heartfelt condolences to all who are bereaved by this great loss, Amen.
I thank you.