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The AFM of SA like many churches and religious groups was approached by the Family Policy Foundation to take a stand against the proposed inclusion of Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) as part of the Life Orientation curriculum for the 2020 school year.
The AFM leadership wrote to the Minister of Basic Education on 2 August 2019, seeking confirmation and clarity on this matter. The Minister’s Office acknowledged receipt of the AFM’s correspondence. Unfortunately, the Minister did not come back to us.
Some of the national Newspapers this past Sunday, carried articles to the effect that the final decision to include CSE in the 2020 school year curriculum has been taken. Apparently, the Newspapers received this information through a leaked document. According to the leaked document the introduction of CSE seeks to expose children at an early age (e.g. Grade 4 learners) to sex education, which is something unacceptable at such a tender age.
The themes that are addressed in this document amongst others are masturbation, vaginal, oral and anal sex, sexual orientation, trans genderism and illustrations about the use of female condoms. It, further purports to teach children about biological and gender identity. It is alleged that it includes group discussions by learners in which learners will discuss their private parts and be taught to say no in a context where the other learner will insist on having sex. In this context it is thought that the learner who says “no” will be encouraged to remain in a positive relationship with the persistent partner.
The serious concerns of the AFM of SA centers around the following issues:
• The insensitive way in which this document deals with the sensitive issues of sexuality is un-African. The interlocuters of this Government are not the people who elected them into power, but the international world and organizations it wants to please. It fails to appreciate the fact that it has been elected by the South African citizens but behaves as if it has been put into power by Western Countries and the United Nations. When it suits its political agenda, it proclaims its allegiance to African identity but when it comes to matters of sexual ethics it disregards African cultural practices and ethos.
• It is the AFM’s leadership view that this subject, unlike other academic subjects, such as languages, mathematics and science, contains value issues that require parents’ inputs and is therefore within the domain of and prerogatives of parents.
• In the absence of a response from the Department of Basic Education, we are not sure if School Governing Bodies were consulted on this issue. If our assertion in this regard is correct, this would be a serious omission on the part of the Basic Education Department. School Governing Bodies are one of the critical platforms through which parents would have expressed their views on this matter.
• In the absence of the response from the Department of Basic Education we are also not certain if all organizations representing Educators (Teachers) were consulted and allowed to make their inputs.
• If the above structures were not consulted and allowed to give their inputs, the question that begs an answer is “Why not?” “Kungani?” “Hoekom?” “Ndi ngani?” “Hi mhakamuni?” “Hobaneng?”
Our view is that parents have the primary responsibility for the upbringing and education of their children, including their sexual education.
We reject the unilateral action of the Department of Basic Education and as such we would like to register our objection to their proposed plan.
As your leaders we will appreciate your further input in this regard.
Release Date: 1 November 2019
Past. M.G. Mahlobo (President of the AFM of SA)
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At one of its recent meetings the leadership of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa (AFM) became aware of the art exhibition by one of the Matric students at Grantleigh Curro School in Richardsbay which has drawn strong emotions from Christian leaders.
The AFM leadership immediately sought clarity on this matter from the Headmaster of the school in their letter dated 22 October 2019. This was an attempt from the AFM leadership to first try and gain information from reliable sources so that we can respond in a balanced and informed way. Unfortunately, the Headmaster did not respond or have the courtesy to acknowledge receipt of our letter.
The response from the CEO (Curro Holdings) on social media, dated 23 October 2019 to parents and guardians has been noted. The apology and acknowledgement by the CEO, that the duty of care and guidance offered to the learner did not always adequately address the underlying issues and potential implications of producing such visual art, are welcomed. However, the tone of the letter falls short of the school taking full responsibility for their failure to guide the learner. It is not only their ‘dereliction of duty’ that is a serious concern for us, but it is the fact that this piece of art has seriously compromised one of their mission statement goals, namely “To uphold Christian values and encourage principled, caring and responsible behaviour at all times.” Our displeasure is therefore with the school, and not the learner.
The kind of justification of the art, posted on social media and purportedly, coming from the student is not acceptable to us. We know for sure, that this interpretation would not have been accepted as sufficient, if it involved one of the other religions with which we share space in South Africa.
Although we respect the role of art to ask difficult questions and challenge culture and religion, our view is that the way in which this exhibition was allowed to be presented is insensitive, disrespectful and derogatory to the Christian faith. As one of the Christian Churches in South Africa we will not keep quiet when the image of Jesus, who is our Lord and Saviour is presented in a compromising and demeaning manner. We are appalled by the way pages of the Bible were torn apart and used in some of the artworks in question.
The Headmaster should be held accountable for his failure to anticipate the negative impact that this controversial artwork that was displayed in the foyer of the school, would elicit and to give relevant leadership and guidance to the teachers and learners involved.
It is problematic for us when schools don’t live up to their mission statements. We will encourage our members to carefully assess the alignment between their own values and the values that this school and other Curro schools are really subscribing to and practice.
Date of Release: 1 November 2019
Past. M.G. Mahlobo
(President of the AFM of SA)
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Download the presentation of Past. M.G. Mahlobo here as it was presented at the AFM International Conference of 2019:
AFM Pastors & Members,
Will you help us to spread the word? We believe that this year’s theme “Rooted in Christ” is a vital message for the missional church going forward. Resources are now available in Afrikaans, English and Xhosa. These 3 languages are predominant in the geographical area where the conference will be hosted – Cape Town. We are looking forward to seeing our pastors and members attend this vital gathering. For any queries related to these material, please contact Chantalle Schutte at [email protected]
A 2 minute Promotional Video:
Download the Video in Afrikaans (Right-Click and choose Save As)
Download the Video in English (Right-Click and choose Save As)
Download the Video in Xhosa (Right-Click and choose Save As)
Power Point Slides:
AFRIKAANS: NC 2019 PP AFR
ENGLISH: NC 2019 PP 2 ENG
XHOSA: NC 2019 PP XHOSA
AFRIKAANS: Conference Poster 2019 A1 AFRIKAANS
ENGLISH: Conference Poster 2019 A1 ENGLISH
We are looking forward to welcoming the AFM Family at our annual National Conference that is taking place in September. We would like to see that all our members and assemblies know about the conference. We believe that this year’s theme “Rooted in Christ” is a vital message for the missional church going forward.
For this purpose we have developed special marketing material that our pastors can use during services. It includes the following:
A 2:00 minute Promotional Video:
Download the Video (Right-Click and choose Save As)
Power Points Slides: Power Point Slides
We are also excited to release Afrikaans and Xhosa versions of all the above mentioned marketing material. These versions will be made available exactly one week from now, on Friday, the 19th of July.
Past. M.G. Mahlobo
(President of the AFM of SA)