As South Africa prepares for an unprecedented 21 days of national shutdown, president Cyril Ramaphosa has declared today a national day of prayer.
According to a statement published on the presidency’s website following meetings with religious groups, president Ramaphosa calls on all citizens to “observe two minutes of prayer, reflection or silent meditation” between 6pm and 6.30pm tonight.
“These are challenging times. We are traversing a path we have never travelled before. There are many among us who are fearful, uncertain and vulnerable. I call on our people to offer a prayer and a thought for the protection and healing of our land and its people from this disease.
“Over the past two weeks, South Africans from all walks of life have demonstrated their resilience by complying with the restrictions that have been placed on their lives. Because we are in a state of national lockdown our prayers must be offered from our hearts and in our homes.
“The international occurrence of the coronavirus pandemic has affirmed yet again that the challenge we face is a global one and one we cannot overcome alone.
“I call on all our people, whether they are religious or not, wherever they are, on Thursday, March 26 to observe a moment of silence in a show of social solidarity,” the statement reads.