Hypocrisy for Zuma to lash re­li­gious lead­ers

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Clive Hatch

ONCE again Pres­i­dent Zuma opened his mouth to change feet on Jan­uary 6 when ad­dress­ing ANC sup­port­ers in Vi­lakazi 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 Zuma ad­dressed the Twelve Apos­tles Church in Christ thanks­giv­ing event at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium in Dur­ban on De­cem­ber 4, when he 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, 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 went to the ex­tent of com­par­ing him­self to Je­sus at a meet­ing in Mpumalanga on Novem­ber 19 last year, 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:

“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 is 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:

It would seem that Zuma is happy for 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 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 will Zuma learn that the more he opens his mouth, the more votes he loses? Wit­bank

CUR­RY­ING FAVOUR: Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma greets ANC sup­port­ers on Vi­lakazi Street in Or­lando, Soweto, this week. The writer reck­ons that Zuma tak­ing cler­ics to task is mis­placed and un­fair.

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