MEETING WITH HIS EMINENCE
CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY, DURBAN: JUNE 3, 2001
It has been a pleasure for me to attend the Church of the Holy Trinity this morning to share corporate worship and partake in the Holy Mass over which Your Eminence has officiated. It is good to take time from my usual hectic schedule to experience meetings of this nature. I believe it true that we should not give up the fellowship of the saints, for it is when we come together as one body that we find individual replenishment of spirit and soul. My heart is also restored to hope when I witness communities of this country, and particularly of this province, coming together under a common desire to seek the Will of the Almighty. I am encouraged by this because I know that God’s Will is surely for prosperity and peace within South Africa.
As we align our wills to this purpose, I believe we may begin to see new springs of restoration well up among our communities. It is only when we actively move to make a difference in our own families that our families change. It is only when we take up the challenge of restoring our communities through our own efforts, that our communities will rise above the difficulties which now characterise them. Poverty and abject social conditions are the plight of hundreds of thousands of our people. Yet there are also hundreds of thousands whose daily struggle may not be for bread, but for a future worth living for. It seems there are many South Africans who cannot see the brighter future that we, the leaders of our people, are working towards.
My struggle for the genuine liberation and evenly spread prosperity of my people is shared by every leader whose heart is for his people. I believe that my own calling is spoken from the same voice which has called Your Eminence to dedicate your life to the spiritual welfare of your people. From the moment of my birth, my calling has been in the direction of politics, as I was born into the leadership of my people as Inkosi of the Buthelezi Clan first and then as Chief Executive Officer of the Zulu Territorial Authority. As I witnessed the suffering of my people under the oppression of apartheid, it was natural for me to follow the urging of the ANC leadership and take up the position of Chief Minister of the erstwhile KwaZulu Government. I knew that if we were to change the leadership of our country, we needed to do so from within as well as without.
I continued to live and work among my people throughout this time, as I do even today. To me, a true leader is one who never loses sight of what he is fighting for and never removes himself from those whose fight he champions. We are all in this together.
There are not some of us who can achieve prosperity and some who will be left behind, for such a future is unsustainable. Unless we raise the standard of living among the poorest of the poor, the economic gap will simply widen and South Africa will follow the path of many destitute African nations. South Africa is part of this continent, but we are marching to a different beat. It is the heartbeat of a people determined to escape an historical legacy. It is the sound of hope and the music of liberation.
It warms my heart to see this community gather on a Sunday, as I know you do for many social occasions throughout the year, to build the unity of friendship and camaraderie. I have always looked to communities such as this when my hope is flagging, for the power of unity which is built into many South African communities, even amongst the poorest of the poor, has the ability to generate development, upliftment and prosperity. When we can put aside personal ambitions to seek the good of our own community, working where we are, I believe we not only achieve greater prosperity among our people, but indeed greater personal satisfaction.
It is this personal satisfaction that has sustained me throughout my struggle. I find an unshakable peace in knowing that my country is better for my own role in its history. This is a bold statement, but one which I believe every South African ought to be able to make. Every one of us, particularly we who are leaders, must live in such a way that we are able to make such a bold statement at the end of the day. To do so, we need merely to give of our time, our efforts and our compassion. This is an act of our will. As leaders, we have made a willful decision to serve our people, seeking the genuine liberation of body, mind and soul. In doing so, our will has lined up with the Will of God, and His hand will sustain us.
It is my fervent prayer that the leaders of South Africa’s communities will maintain a constant fellowship, and come together seeking the development, upliftment and establishment of our people. Surely South Africa can be a leader on the African continent, for we understand that Rome was not built in a day, but brick by brick, moment by moment, through the efforts of all. Let us build South Africa in this same way.