After a delegation of church leaders refused to reconsider their stand on calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign, Deputy President Ramaphosa has urged religious leaders to pray for those running the government instead of criticising them.
Deputy President Ramaphosa addressed a church service at Mahwelereng in Limpopo while he was in the area to encourage people to register to vote in order to make their votes count.
Amid a resounding welcome by African National Congress (ANC) supporters in Mokopane as Ramaphosa conducted a walkabout at the Mahwelereng Shopping Centre, he urged community members to use the final voter registration window to ensure the registration is complete.
Later at the “Church of the First Born”, Ramaphosa told congregants that church leaders should not interfere in politics but they should always pray for them.
His speech pointed towards the incessant calls for President Jacob Zuma to resign. He also reminded religious leaders criticising Zuma that pastors who led the ANC in the past did not bring disparity into the party but prayed for the leaders.
Deputy President Ramaphosa went on to thank the church for praying for him and other ANC leaders instead of criticising them.
“Pastor I want to thank your church again for the stance that your church has decided to take that the church is not going to criticize the government but it is going to pray for the government. Your job is to pray so that God can bless the government and leaders who are in government. Your job is not to pray that the leaders in government must go to hell. Your job is to pray that they must correct their ways and mistakes and go to heaven.”
He seized the opportunity to remind them of how important it is for people to register so that they can participate effectively in the Local Government Elections. He told the congregants that the only way to defend democracy is to vote.
“Today (Sunday) is the last day of registration and we are finding that a few people have not yet registered, so we are encouraging them to go and register. It is critical that people should register so that they can participate effectively in the Local Government Elections. Some of the challenges that some of the people are raising here are jobs,” he said.
Ramaphosa’s visit made an impact as some of the community members say they are ready to vote not minding the challenges. “I have not seen him like personally so I am very happy. Yesterday (Saturday) I went to check my details, so everything is fine for me. I am going to vote on the third of August,” says one of the residents who was excited to see a top government official face to face.