Zuma: If God is for us, who can be against us
The church’s support for the African National Congress (ANC) was an “unequivocal biblical declaration that if God is for us who can be against us,” party president Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday.
This is according to an ANC statement on meetings between Zuma and religious and traditional leaders in Mafikeng, North West.
Zuma, read the statement, commended the church leadership’s support of the ruling party saying it was in line with the commitment made by their predecessors when the party was formed.
“It [the expression of support] is an unequivocal biblical declaration that if God is for us, who can be against us,” the ANC quoted him as saying.
Church leaders told Zuma they would make sure every member of the church was “encouraged” to vote in the April 22 election. The statement
said the church leaders would encourage their members to participate in the poll to ensure an ANC victory.
They committed to fight against “moral decay and all forms of abuse”, the statement read.
In response, Zuma said the ruling party was the only organisation “that can claim it was baptised when it was born” and the ANC was a “child of the church”.
“There are three main sectors that were instrumental in the formation of the organisation—they were intellectuals, traditional leaders and religious leaders.
“Of the 11 former leaders of the ANC, a significant number of them, including presidents Mahabane, Makgatho and Luthuli, were priests.
As the ANC, we’re the child of the church,” he said.
In the meeting with traditional leaders, Zuma said the “common struggle of the ANC and traditional leaders” was to reclaim the dignity which was taken by colonialism and apartheid.
“The ANC is an organisation of traditional leaders. The very foundation of the ANC was a continuation of the battle against colonialism waged by the traditional leaders. So when we come here asking you to be with us, we do so because you are our fathers,” he said, according to the party.
“For many years our traditional leaders were undermined and treated as nothing. Chiefs and kings were put under the authority of magisterial districts.
“Traditional leaders have an important role of holding the government accountable by criticising us when we go wrong,” he said.
The ANC president said the hard-fought right to vote had to be used wisely.
“We’re not shy to say that everyone must vote for the organisation as there is no formation that has a history as rich as that of the ANC,” he said.
Zuma would end his visit with door-to-door campaigning, meeting with people living with HIV/Aids, people with disabilities and civil society, the ANC said.—Sapa