​EFF demobilises after Rivers Church pastor Andre Olivier apologises for racist sermon

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are no longer threatening to visit the Rivers Church to deliver their own kind of Sunday service. This after pastor Andre Olivier apologised for his inflammatory service over the weekend that has been widely criticised for being racist.

In the Sunday sermon, Olivier talked to the congregants about how some people are sent by God to help others that are feeling abandoned.

“If you are black, God will send you white people,” he said.

“Don’t say the problem in South Africa is the white people. No, we are not. We have contributed to this nation, and we still do.

“If you want to know why white people still have money, it is because they work.  So don’t drive them away. They can speak into your life,” he said in the sermon.

This prompted EFF commander-in-chief Julius Malema to announce that his party would march on the Sandton church if Olivier was not suspended by Sunday.

However, the EFF has since backed down following  Olivier’s Twitter apology on Wednesday. In an interview with Cape Talk on Wednesday evening, national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the party no longer intends to march because it’s now the church’s responsibility to implement disciplinary action. 

“When such racism rears its ugly head you must go and deal with it if the church will not deal with it, so that’s what we were doing. We have since been in the process of demobilising because he has apologised and because it’s a matter of the pulpit. Surely he will be repenting and they must then pray for him on Sunday,” he said.

Ndlozi added that the EFF’s focus would now shift to the  Sodwana Bay guest house owner, whose remarks have also provoked widespread outrage. – Additional reporting by News24

Luke Feltham
Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

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