Pope Francis prays for South Africa, which is experiencing the most violent revolts in the last 25 years.
“In this last week, unfortunately, news of episodes of violence have arrived that have aggravated the situation of many of our brothers in South Africa, already affected by economic and health difficulties due to the pandemic.”
The protests are estimated to have caused at least 215 deaths.
They began on Thursday, July 8, with road cuts to support former President Jacob Zuma. Zuma was jailed for corruption but claims he is being unfairly persecuted.
The wick spread to the cities and turned into violence and vandalism.
The protesters denounce injustice and also an economic and social crisis that adds to the consequences of the pandemic.
“Together with the Bishops of the country, I urgently appeal to all those responsible to work for peace and to collaborate with the authorities in order to provide assistance to those in need.”
The bishops have condemned “criminal acts that take advantage of the situation” and ask “to overcome political interests, protect life and preserve the common good.” They denounce the lack of “efficient leadership in government and unethical business practices.”
The protests continue, but are less violent. That is why the Pope asked South Africa “not to forget the desire that has guided them to be reborn in harmony.”