Dandala on Zuma and the pulpit

Church leaders who did not give political leaders equal exposure were not worthy pastors, Cope presidential candidate Mvume Dandala said on Tuesday.

Dandala, the former head of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, was commenting on Rhema Church allowing African National Congress (ANC) leader Jacob Zuma to address a service on Sunday, a move that caused several worshippers to walk out.

Dandala, smartly dressed in a suit and red tie for his first official media conference, initially pondered the question for comment on Zuma’s speech from the pulpit.

“What about Mr Jacob Zuma’s appearance at the Rhema Church? How do I respond to that?” he said.

Dandala said he believed there were two schools of thought on the matter within church circles.

Some church leaders believed they “did not want to turn their churches into campaign grounds” while others felt it was appropriate for “political leaders to come and dialogue with them”.

“But then they must open their doors to all political leaders. They must not be selective [because] then they are not pastors of those members who belong to political parties other than the one they [the pastors] support,” said Dandala.

He did not say whether he would use the pulpit for electioneering purposes.—Sapa

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