SA Council of Churches has been heavily criticized by Ex-Political Prisoners’ Association (EPPA) in South Africa for propounding and instigating revolt and rancour within the African National Congress (ANC). EPPA expressed dismay over the 36-member churches’ attitude after the council requested President Zuma to resign on Friday.
Speaking on behalf of the association to News 24, EPPA Deputy National Secretary Mpho Masemola asserted that it is very apparent that the Council of Churches has defied religious ethics by promoting Zuma’s resignation. The ex-political prisoners association added that the church ought to be an epitome of forgiveness, reconciliation and love and not the other way round.
“The role of the church is nothing else but to preach reconciliation, forgiveness and to build the nation, as they have done during the anti-apartheid struggle.
“President Zuma said to them, ‘sorry I am wrong’. But the very same church leaders refuse to accept his apology. It becomes suspicious then. If they refuse to accept his apology, what are they representing?” Masemola asked.
Masemola further made a biblical reference on the number of times a man should be forgiven and the importance of forgiveness in Zuma’s case.
“We are quite surprised by the church’s [stance]. The ANC government chose to forgive [former Vlakplaas commander] Eugene de Kock by giving him parole,” he added.
The association’s viewpoint on SA Council of Churches’ propaganda comes after the latter announced on Friday that it had asked the ANC to convince Zuma to resign.
Last Friday, the council’s General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana revealed that the council met with high-ranking ANC leaders during a closed-door meeting at their Luthuli House headquarters. The council noted that the meeting with the ANC was necessary because they needed to address the plight of the people and come to their aid.
Expressing dismay over Zuma’s action last Friday, Bishop Mpumlwana, asserted that “In any normal democracy the state president would go before the nation tonight and announce his resignation.’ But, he however added that democracy in South Africa is not normal. Hence, the reason Zuma has refused to step down.
Also, the ex-political prisoners association lambasted former political prisoner and former member of parliament Ahmed Kathrada, Cheryl Carolus and Trevor Manual, calling them “very bitter so-and-so’s”.
However, irrespective of EPPA’s unalloyed support for President Zuma, the end of the embattled president’s woes and plights is still far off, as calls for his resignation have continued to grow stronger with each passing day.
Although, the beleaguered president apologised to the nation after the Constitutional Court found that he failed to comply with the public protector’s remedial action in her report on spending on his Nkandla homestead, many still consider his apology inconsequential and insignificant.
Last week, South African activists across the African continent called on President Zuma to step down to protect his identity and the integrity of Africa.