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“Divine Hope” in a growing Angola

These photos were taken at the inauguration of Angola’s new Diocese Divina Esperança (DDE) by Bishop Andre Soares in Luanda on July 25. The “Diocese of Divine Hope” is to become part of the new Anglican Province, the Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA).

Earlier coverage:

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/two-new-dioceses-launched-for-iama/

https://anglicanchurchsa.org/mozambique-angola-plan-new-province/

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Two new Dioceses launched for IAMA

Two new missionary Dioceses have been inaugurated in July so far as Anglicans in Angola and Mozambique plan their new Province, to be entitled Igreja Anglicana de Moçambique e Angola (IAMA).

In the coastal city of Beira on July 11, Bishop Carlos Matsinhe of Lebombo inaugurated the new Diocese of Pungue River (Diocese Anglicana do Rio Pungue).

On July 18 Bishop Andre Soares of Angola launched the Diocese of Christ the King (Diocese Anglicane de Christo Rei) in Uige in the north-west of that country.

More new dioceses are set to be established Angola in the coming weeks and months.

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SA local elections under Covid-19

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town has made a submission to an inquiry on holding free and fair Local Government Elections in South Africa under coronavirus conditions. The inquiry is being led by Justice Dikgang Moseneke. The submission can be downloaded below.

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RIP Bishop Eric Pike

The Right Revd Eric Pike, former Bishop of Port Elizabeth, has died at the age of 84 after a lifelong ministry in the Eastern Cape.

After growing up on a Church of Scotland mission station, where he learned to speak isiXhosa as well as English, he first trained as an educator. He taught at Queen’s College, Komani, but changed course as he entered his 30s. He trained for the ministry at the old St Paul’s College and was ordained in 1968.

He served in Komga and East London, latterly as Archdeacon of East London, before his election and consecration as Suffragan Bishop of Grahamstown in 1989. In 1993, he was elected the third Bishop of Port Elizabeth, succeeding Bishop Bruce Evans and Bishop Philip Russell before him. He retired in 2001, to be succeeded in turn by Bishop Bethlehem Nopece.

Introducing Bishop Pike’s book, “Who do you say I am?” at a function in Port Elizabeth in 2011, the Revd Robert Penrith said when he first met “this amazing evangelist Eric” at St Andrew’s Church, Mdantsane, he “expected a rather loud and in-your-face evangelist, but instead was greeted with the deepest warmth by this humble man.”

In acknowledgement of the fluency of Bishop Eric’s isiXhosa, Archbishop Desmond Tutu used to jokingly pronounce “Pike” as if it was African, putting the stress on the “e”.

Bishop Pike was known as a walker, from sharing a daily early-morning walk with Bishop Duncan Buchanan of Johannesburg at bishops’ meetings, to undertaking “the Camino” pilgrimage in France and Spain twice.

In his early 80s, he and his wife, Joyce, hit the headlines when they embarked on the “Nehemiah Prayer Walk”, a 200 km journey through all 60 wards and 126 informal settlements in Nelson Mandela Bay.

He recorded his journey in “Walking the Walk”, a book described as being “right up to date, with the final chapter giving insight as to how the walk has brought churches in Nelson Mandela Bay together in the fight against hunger in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

See Bishop Pike in a news report by the SABC in 2019:

With acknowledgements to the Living Church, Gateway News and the Transformation Christian Network

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Justice for the Palestinian people – five studies

After the 2019 Provincial Synod adopted a resolution expressing support for justice for the Palestinian people, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba commissioned a series of studies for use in parishes around the Province.

The studies, and a letter from the Archbishop commending them, are available below. There are five studies, but they can be worked through over seven sessions.

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50 years of black liberation theolgy – lecture series

Beginning on June 26, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, and the Academy for Theological and Historical Research, an organisation working in the Black Dutch Reformed tradition, is presenting a series of lectures under the title “The Fire, The River, and The Scorched Earth Between: 50 Years of Black Liberation Theology through the lens of Allan Boesak.”

Find out more from the project’s flyer:

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June 16 plea by the Bishop of George

On South Africa’s Youth Day,. the Right Revd Brian Marajh, Bishop of George, urges parents in his Diocese to create opportunities and platforms for young people to explore, examine and comment on issues of the day in order to help them find their voices.

“Let us speak a language of possibility, of inclusion, of empowerment, of inspiration, enabling language, uplifting language, a language of faith, hope and belief in them and their ability to bring about change,” he writes.

READ the full text of his letter:

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ABESA calls for vaccine priority for educators

Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa – Statement

The Anglican Board of Education for Southern Africa supports this week’s call from the unions in the education sector upon the Minister of Health, for educators to be preferred in the queue for COVID-19 vaccinations, as frontline workers in the nation.

It is critical for South Africa’s future that registered learners are in school as much and as early as possible; that school feeding schemes operate; and that the adult care given by educators in class and in the community is afforded as fully as possible.

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Reduce worshippers to 50 or less, Bishops urged

As the “third wave” of Covid-19 infections hits a number of South African dioceses entering the winter months, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s Covid Advisory Team is urging that congregations should be limited to 50 people or less.

The team is also urging all Anglicans to be vaccinated when vaccines become available. Among other recommendations:

“Decrease the number of people at all services to a maximum of 50 , if the church is able to accommodate 50 people within the COVID guidelines. In the event that the building is smaller and not able to accommodate 50 people then to a maximum of 50% of the capacity of the building.”

“Social distancing of 1,5 meters has to be enforced even for members of the same family, as if they are allowed to sit together, then the 1,5m distance between them and other worshippers is not being maintained.”

DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEXT OF THE GUIDELINES FROM THE ADVISORY TEAM BELOW:

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Three servants of ACSA receive Lambeth Awards

Three members of the Province are among more than 30 Anglicans across the Communion who have received Lambeth Awards for 2021. The awards are made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, to recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society.

Bishop Luke Pato of Namibia and Canon Rachel Mash, the Province’s environmental coordinator, have been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, as previously announced by the Synod of Bishops, received the Langton Award for Community Service.

The citations, published on April 7 by Lambeth Palace in London, follow in alphabetical order:

Canon Rachel Mash – the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For raising awareness of and the urgent need to implement the Fifth Mark of Mission in the Anglican Communion.

Working with the steering committee of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Dr Mash was instrumental in organising the first eco-bishops’ conference at Volmoed. From this came the Good Friday statement ‘The world is our host,’ which had a huge impact on the Anglican Communion. A further eco-bishops of Africa conference led to ‘An Urgent Cry for Ecological Justice; Reclaiming the Gospel Imperative for All Creation’ and a call for climate change to be high on the agenda for Lambeth Conference. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) subsequently released a statement on Environmental Racism signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, nine other archbishops and over 60 Bishops.

Starting in the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA), she promoted the Season of Creation into a living liturgical season, resourcing it with excellent liturgical materials. On a Communion level she brought a resolution to the 2009 Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand to celebrate a liturgical ‘Season of Creation’ as an integral part of the church’s yearly pattern of worship and teaching. The Season of Creation has spread to a growing number of provinces. She is part of the steering committee for the Season of Creation ecumenical network with the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and others.

The Green Anglicans Youth movement was started in ACSA and has since spread to Central Africa, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Portugal. Perceiving that the environmental movement must be led by young people, she has consistently trained, empowered and believed in young people so that they are at the forefront of the movement.

Bishop Luke Lungile Pato – The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For outstanding lifelong service to the Church and Society through Theological Education as well as in Ecumenical Relations.

Since Bishop Luke Lungile Pato’s consecration and installation as Bishop of Namibia in 2016, his leadership, theological acumen and pastoral approach have endeared him to the people of the Diocese, bringing stability to the Church in Namibia.

Previously, he had served in the Diocese of Johannesburg as Rector of the Parish of St Martin in the Veld Rosebank, and Rector of the School for Ministries in the Diocese. He spent many years at the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in Church and Reconciliation Ministries following the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he also built support with the Christian Church in the Palestinian Territories. He has also served in the Anglican Communion Anglican-Orthodox Commission. An internationalist, he has served as a university lecturer in Religious Studies and is a published scholar in African Theology and Theological Education.

After seven years as founding Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, where he established a new seminary for the church, set its norms and academic programmes and environment for priestly formation for the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Cape Town invited him to serve as Provincial Executive Officer and for a while he was based at Bishopscourt, the office of the Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Bishop Pato is nominated in recognition of his outstanding and faithful ministry in the Church, especially his leadership and administrative skills in ground-breaking and difficult situations; his sensitive work as a reconciler and bridge-builder between Church and society; and his work for justice that linked the Church in South Africa with the Church in Palestine. He has rendered illustrious service and dedication to Church and society; in his ecumenical service on behalf of the Anglican Church; and in his work of peace, justice and reconciliation.

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya – The Langton Award for Community Service

For outstanding leadership in the area of sustainable development and Creation Care in the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini).

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya was the first woman to be Bishop in Africa. As such she served her Diocese, the Province and the Anglican Communion in an outstanding manner. She integrated the care of creation into her theology, her teaching and her praxis, prioritising the environment at all levels.

In the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini), she was one of the first bishops to introduce the Season of Creation on a yearly basis. She instituted many successful environmental projects, the wattle tree project, seed distribution, the rocket stove initiative and the pig farming project. These have demonstrated sustainable development in a way which is healing the land. The Department of Environment has recognised the Diocese two years in a row for an Eco-award, and she was invited to preach at National World Environment day events.

On a Provincial level, she was the liaison bishop for the environment and oversaw the Greening of the Canons, divestment from fossil fuels, a commitment to banning of Styrofoam at church events and other environmental resolutions.

On a communion level, as chairperson of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network she spoke at Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka on the Eucharist and the Environment. She spoke at forums in Washington DC and was a facilitator for Trinity Church, Wall Street on sustainability for churches in Africa.

Bishop Ellinah was an active member of the Anglican Bishops in Dialogue consultations. These bishops, in the spirit of the Indaba process of Lambeth 2008, courageously took the risk to meet and listen to those with whom they have had profound disagreements. They met for over 10 years and grew in trust, mutual respect and understanding of their diverse contexts and common mission. In this, as in all she undertook, Bishop Ellinah made an outstanding contribution.

The full list of awardees can be found on the Lambeth Palace website.

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New Safe Church update on case of the Revd June Major

Statement regarding progress in the investigation of the alleged rape of Reverend June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church

The report of the Board of Preliminary Enquiry finds there is a case to answer.

The Board of Preliminary Enquiry (BPE) appointed by the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA) to investigate the alleged rape of the Reverend June Dolley-Major by the Reverend Melvin Booysen has established there is a case to answer.

The case will be heard by a Diocesan Tribunal in public sessions as set out in Church law (Canons) in around mid-May 2021, in order to allow for the confirmation of the lay and clerical members of the tribunal by Rev Major and Rev Booysen. The Archbishop has appointed as President of the Tribunal one of the retired Bishops of the Church, Bishop Emeritus Peter Lee.

As soon as the tribunal date has been confirmed, the ACSA will publish its date and venue and joining instructions in line with the prevailing COVID-19 restrictions. An option to join the tribunal virtually will also be made available.

At the end of the hearings the tribunal will issue a judgement within 21 days. The judgement may be the subject of a further appeal. By choosing to pursue the case under Church law (Canons) this does not prevent either Rev Dolley-Major or Rev Booysen from pursuing this matter in the criminal courts in the future, if they wish to do so.

For further details of the process followed to date by the ACSA please see our media statement of 24 March 2021 which can be viewed here.

We assure all of those involved on both sides of this case of our prayers, pastoral support and long-standing commitment as we seek guidance and truth in this matter.

We will continue to communicate progress on this matter.

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Covid-19 update on funerals

The Provincial Covid-19 Advisory Team has issued a special supplementary update to its guidelines, dealing specifically with funerals in the case of Covid-19 related deaths in South Africa.

Download the new update below:

Download the full guidelines, issued on March 18, below:

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Safe Church update on case of the Revd June Major

Statement regarding progress in the investigation of the alleged rape of Reverend June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church

The report of the Board of Preliminary Enquiry is scheduled to be published on Thursday 1 April 2021

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) remains committed to its work of mission and ministry to speak truth, fight for justice and care for the vulnerable and marginalised.

Gender Based Violence remains a scourge in our communities and is abhorrent to ACSA and other members of wider society . It is deeply saddening to witness the pain and experience of any victim or survivor of Gender Based Violence (GBV). For ACSA, it is especially sensitive to the pain of the Rev. June Major as reported to Safe and Inclusive Church. Safe Church was set up to assist members in finding support and compassion in the journey to seeking redress for all forms of alleged abuse by any minister of our church.

Overview:

The Rev. Major reported the matter formally under the Church Laws (Canons), to the Safe and Inclusive (SIC) Commission on 8 July 2020.

Subsequently, a Team from the Commission shortly after receiving the complaint was assigned to investigate the matter and based on its discernment, determine the way forward.

Following a meeting with two members of the Commission on 5 October 2020 a charge sheet (Articles of Presentment) was prepared to enable the matter to be brought before a tribunal of the church.

A Board of Preliminary Enquiry (BPE) was appointed on 14 December 2020 with the task of establishing if a prima facie case existed. The Board had 21 working days to complete their work and report to the responsible Bishop, who was then required to distribute the report to all parties and outline the next steps, including allowing the right of reply.

The BPE completed its work and the report was submitted to the Bishop on 15 January 2021. The Bishop then had some time to review the report but unfortunately contracted COVID for which he was hospitalised.

The Bishop subsequently distributed the report to all the parties by 1February 2021.

The Accused then had 14 working days in which to respond to the findings and recommendations of the BPE report. On receipt of the report, the attorneys of the Accused raised a number of issues which had to be addressed. The Canons make provision for delays in days to respond and the matters were finally settled on 4 March 2021.

As such the Accused in this matter has 14 (fourteen) working days to respond to the BPE and the final date for his response is Thursday 25 March, 2021. This information was shared with all parties.

The report, as well as any subsequent decisions that may be required, will now become a matter of public record and is scheduled to be posted on the Church website on Thursday 1 April 2021. Should the report find there is a case to answer, a tribunal will be held in public sessions, mindful of the COVID restrictions.

We assure all of those involved on both sides of this case of our prayers, pastoral support and long-standing commitment as we seek guidance and truth in this matter.

We will continue to communicate progress on this matter.

For any further queries please contact safechurches@anglicanchurchsa.org.za

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Latest Covid-19 guidelines – March 18

Download the latest Covid-19 guidelines, issued by the Archbishop’s Provincial Covid-19 Advisory Team, on March 18, 2021.

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Bishops call for end to oil drilling in Namibia

Bishop Raphael Hess and Bishop Margaret Vertue hand over the petition to the Hon. Sarafina Tshilunga, Consul-General of Namibia in Cape Town, accompanied by the Revd Dr Rachel Mash, the Province’s Environmental Coordinator.

ANGLICAN BISHOPS CALL FOR HALT TO OIL DRILLING IN THE KAVANGO BASIN, NAMIBIA

Bishop Luke Pato, the Bishop of Namibia alerted the Anglican Church that exploratory drilling for oil and gas has commenced in the Kavango Basin, Namibia, by Canadian Company ReConAfrica In response the Synod of Bishops has drawn up a petition calling for the immediate halt to the drilling.

“The process has not been an open one, with Namibians waking up to a mining venture that has already been signed and settled. There are many questions to be answered. “ Bishop of Namibia, Rt Rev Luke Pato

Thirty-four bishops and three Archbishops from around the world have signed a petition calling for the immediate halt to the drilling. These include the Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba; Archbishop Julio Murray, chair, Anglican Communion Environmental Network; the Most Rev. Linda Nicholls, Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada; Archbishop Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada; and Bishop Kito Pikaahu Chair of Anglican Indigenous Network, and the Bishop of Salisbury ,the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, lead Bishop for the Environment, Church of England.

Since the oil company is based in Canada, the petition was also signed by Lori Ransom, Interim Executive Director: Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

The petition is being over today to the Government of Namibia, the Namibian Consulate in Cape Town, and the Headquarters of ReconAfrica in Vancouver and the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise.”

Canadian oil company ReconAfrica has bought rights to drill for oil in more than 35 000 square kilometres of the Kavango Basin in Namibia. This environmentally sensitive, protected area supplies water to the Okavango Delta, is a World Heritage and Ramsar Wetland Site, a Key Biodiversity Area and one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. The region is home to the largest remaining population of African elephants, 400 species of birds and is a sanctuary for many other animals. It is protected under the protocol of the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission.

The Bishops are protesting for the following reasons:

  1. INDIGENOUS RIGHTS

This exploration violates San rights under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous people. It affects three regional UNESCO heritage sites: The Okavango Delta, the Tsodilo Hills and the San Living Cultural Landscape. ‘Unconventional oil and gas’ exploration and extraction will bring roads, heavy trucks, ribbon development and pollution.

  1. WATER SCARCITY

Water is a scarce and precious commodity in Namibia, the driest country south of the Sahara. Grave concerns about the potential damage that ReconAfrica’s planned ‘unconventional drilling’ will do to groundwater have been expressed by a specialist from the Geological Survey of Namibia and the general public.

  1. IMPACT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

According to the ReconAfrica website, “oil generated in the basin could be billions of barrels” i, and be the “biggest oil play of the decade.” ii Namibia is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. With almost unrivalled solar energy potential, extracting ‘billions of barrels of oil,’ makes no sense. Reducing carbon emissions is a global responsibility.

  1. INADEQUATE PUBLIC PARTIPACTION PROCESS

Indications are that the deal between ReconAfrica and the Government of the Republic of Namibia were concluded behind closed doors. Initial meetings were only held in Northern Namibia. Only under duress was a further meeting organised in Windhoek, the capital city. Concerns raised by local activists have been belittled and The Namibian, the national newspaper which broke the story, is being threatened with legal action. iii iv

  1. INADEQUATE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT

The EIA submitted by ReconAfrica does not comply with strict Namibian Government standards.v

  1. MORAL AND SPIRITUAL CONCERNS

ReconAfrica claims that drilling the Kavango basin is “pretty much a no-brainer…”vi The Bishops call it a sin.

Drilling in the Kavango Basin will fracture its geological structure and destroy the water system that supports this unique ecosystem and wildlife sanctuary. In so doing, it will also disrupt to the livelihoods of the indigenous people.

Based on the principle of restorative social and environmental justice, the Bishops call upon the international community to support Namibia and Botswana to develop renewable energy systems and help safeguard the precious Kavango ecosystem.

Signed

Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Revd Dr Thabo Cecil Makgoba

Archbishop Julio Murray, chair, Anglican Communion Environmental Network

The Most Rev. Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada

Archbishop Mark Macdonald, National Indigenous Archbishop, Anglican Church of Canada

Lori Ransom, Interim Executive Director: Kairos: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives

The Dean of the Province of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa; The Bishop of Matlosane, the Rt Revd Stephen Molopi Diseko

The Bishop of Namibia, the Rt Revd Luke Lungile Pato

The Bishop of Angola, the Rt Revd André Soares

The Bishop of California, Rt Revd Marc Andrus,

The Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau (Northland-Auckland), Kito Pikaahu Chair of Anglican Indigenous Network.

The Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, lead Bishop for the Environment, Church of England.

The Bishop of Saldanha Bay, the Rt Revd Raphael Bernard Viburt Hess

The Bishop of Mpumalanga, the Rt Revd Daniel Malesela Kgomosotho

The Bishop of George, the Rt Revd Brian Melvin Marajh

The Bishop of False Bay, the Rt Revd Margaret Vertue

The Bishop of Free State, the Rt Revd Dintoe Stephen Letloenyane

The Bishop of Johannesburg, the Rt Revd Dr Stephen Mosemanegape Moreo

The Bishop of Lebombo, the Rt Revd Carlos Simao Matsinhe

The Bishop of Highveld, the Rt Revd Mthetheleli Charles May

The Bishop of Pretoria, the Rt Revd Allan Kannemeyer

The Bishop of Christ the King, the Rt Revd William Joseph Mostert

The Bishop of Niassa, the Rt Revd Vicente Msosa

The Bishop of Mthatha, the Rt Revd Dr. Hummingfield Charles Nkosinathi Ndwandwe

The Bishop of Khahlamba, the Rt Revd Moses Madywabe

The Bishop of St Helena, the Rt Revd Dale Bowers

The Bishop of Port Elizabeth, the Rt Revd Dr. Edward Ronald Daniels

The Bishop of St Mark the Evangelist, the Rt Revd Luke Abe Pretorius

The Bishop of Mzimvubu, the Rt Revd Tsietsi Edward Seleoane

The Missionary Bishop of Nampula, the Rt Revd Manuel Ernesto

The Bishop of Table Bay, the Rt Revd Joshua Louw

Founder and patron of SAFCEI, The Rt Revd Geoffrey Davies

Honorary Assistant Bishop Diocese of York. Church of England Rt. Revd. Graham Cray

Retired regional bishop of Cape Town, Rt. Revd Geoff Quinlan

Retired regional bishop of Cape Town, Rt. Revd Christopher Gregorowski,

The Vicar General of Kimberley & Kuruman, the Revd Carol Starkey

The Vicar General of Lesotho, the Very Revd Tanki Mofana

The Vicar General of Natal, the Very Revd Ndabenzinhle Sibisi

The Vicar General of Zululand, the Rt Revd Funginkosi Mbhele

The Vicar General of Mbhashe, Ven Bonga Horace Mkabile

The Vicar General of eSwatini, the Very Revd Advent Dlamini

i www.reconAfrica.com Accessed 24 Feb 2021

ii https://www.oilandgas360.com/the-largest-oil-play-of-the-decade-interview-with-daniel-jarvie/

https://www.namibian.com.na/98527/read/ReconAfrica-adviser-calls-oil-drilling-concerns-

stupidity

iv https://www.namibian.com.na/99009/read/Canadian-oil-driller-threatens-to-sue-The-Namibian

v https://n-c-e.org/resource/reconafrica-comes-treasure-okavango

vi Dan Jarvie Worldwide Geochemistry, LLC www.reconafrica.com accessed 23/2/21

A silent protest will be held on the steps of St George’s Cathedral on the 11th of March at mid-day.