by | Jan 7, 2017 | Political comment / blog

Once again President Zuma has opened his mouth to change feet on Friday 6 January 2017 when addressing ANC supporter in Vilikazi Street, Soweto by saying “…… we mustn’t forget Christmas, because these things are the same. The birth of Jesus, who came to free people of sin, is like the birth of the ANC, who freed the people from oppression.”

This comes barely a month after he addressed the Twelve Apostles’ Church in Christ thanksgiving event at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Sunday 4 December 2016, where Zuma said: “It doesn’t sit well with us when we see church leaders involving themselves in politics and creating problems,…….”

These utterances from a president who misuses religion to his own advantage, and that of the ANC while on the campaign trail. Zuma, who is in fact an “honorary pastor” of the Full Gospel Church, which according to the utterances of Jacob (not from the old testament) should be excluded from any political activity – but alas it is a matter of do as I say and not as I do.

Zuma has also gone to the extent of comparing himself with Jesus at a meeting in Mpumalanga on Saturday 19 November 2016 when he said “… because we are doing good things we are hated… Even those who were with Jesus turned against him.”

Who can forget some of these classic examples of Prophet Jacob Zuma dragging religion into politics:

  • ? While speaking at an ANC rally in Khayelitsha in 2008, Zuma said: “We shall build this organisation. Even God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organisation which was blessed by pastors when it was formed. It is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back”.
  • ? Campaigning in the Eastern Cape in the run up to the 2011 local government elections, Zuma said. “When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to Heaven. When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork… who cooks people.”
  • “When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card; you will be let through to go to Heaven. When (Jesus) fetches us we will find (those in the beyond) wearing black, green and gold. The holy ones belong to the ANC.”

Churches have become powerful campaign platforms for Zuma and other ANC politicians whose attendance at big religious events are intended as passive endorsement for their parties.

Zuma has during elections attended and sought support at the following major religious institutions and many smaller ones:

  • ? The Zion Christian Church (ZCC) which has an estimated    six million followers;
  • ? The four million strong Shembe Nazareth Church;
  • ? The Rhema Bible Church in Randburg;

It would seem that Zuma is happy for the Religious leaders to comment on politics when they support him and the ANC but as soon they comment on their shortcomings then they must be good children and be seen and not heard.

The Anglican bishops in the Western Cape responded by rejecting Zuma’s call for religious leaders to stay away from politics.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba responded in his sermon in his sermon at midnight Mass on Christmas Eve by saying “No, Mr President, we will not refrain from engagement in the political terrain. Our people live there, work there, suffer, cry and struggle there. We live there too and cannot and will not stop commenting or acting on what we see and what, in our opinion, is unjust, corrupt and unacceptable to God’s high standards of sacrificial love.”

When, if ever, will Zuma learn that the more he opens his mouth the more votes he loses?

Viva Jacob Zuma!

Clive Hatch

About Clive Hatch

Clive Hatch is a political commentator and opinionist. He is a former Member and Leader of the Opposition in the Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature. After matriculating from Jeppe High School for Boys in 1967 Clive Hatch has lived, worked and been involved in the Emalahleni (Witbank) community.

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