Religious leaders must rise above political mudslinging – Zuma
Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma has again advised religious leaders to avoid being involved in party political squabbles, the Presidency said on Tuesday.
“The President reiterates his view that religious leaders should avoid becoming embroiled in divisive party political squabbles and that they should ideally strive to be above such and unite all the people in the pursuit of justice, righteousness and the common good.”
The Presidency said Zuma has noted the ongoing commentary on statements he had made during the annual Twelve Apostles’ Church in Christ (TACC) International Thanksgiving Day celebrations in Durban on December 4.
“It is the President’s view that it would be helpful if religious leaders rose above the mudslinging so that they could be able to mediate and bring about peace where the need arises,” it said.
The Presidency said Zuma understood, appreciated and commended the role that the faith-based community had played in the struggle for liberation which led to the dawn of freedom and democracy in the country.
“Government also values the role that that the faith-based sector continue to play in the reconstruction and development of our country and in promoting national unity.”
During the TACC celebrations, Zuma also condemned unruly behaviour by some in Parliament, saying that this did not conform with the teachings of the Bible.
It was Zuma’s first public appearance after an ANC NEC meeting 10 days ago in which several ministers in his Cabinet led a call for him to step down.
Earlier this year, the South African Council of Churches (SACC) called for the ANC to convince Zuma to resign.
The SACC met with high-ranking ANC leaders during a closed meeting at the party’s Luthuli House headquarters.
The Constitutional Court – the highest court in the land – found that Zuma had failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land by disregarding the Public Protector’s report in March 2016.