Zuma's your man to help win 2019 elections‚ church tells ANC
If President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ANC want a two-thirds majority in next year's national elections‚ they need former president Jacob Zuma.
So said Bishop Timothy Ngcobo‚ the provincial secretary of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa (Nicsa)‚ during a prayer to welcome Zuma back home in Nkandla on Thursday.
The prayer‚ attended by various religious leaders and by about 500 people at the Mnyakanya sports grounds near Zuma's homestead‚ was organised by Nicsa in partnership with the Commission for Religious Affairs.
Zuma was accompanied by two of his wives‚ Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma and Tobeka Madiba-Zuma.
"This is a prayer‚ this is not starting a new political party as was suggested on social media‚ but to say who wants a two-thirds majority must start with Msholozi (Zuma's clan name)‚" said Ngcobo.
However‚ the comments came after the ANC lost Ward 7 in Nkanda to the IFP‚ despite Zuma campaigning in the area.
A pro-Zuma group said on Thursday that they were considering a new political party with Zuma at the helm to take on the ANC votes. The group‚ Mazibuyele Emasisweni‚ said they were in consultation with other members nationally to ensure that the party became a reality.
Ngcobo has likened Zuma to the biblical shepherd on earth.
He said there are many people who were smiling with Zuma‚ but stabbing him in the back‚ like his middle name Gedleyihlekisa.
"We have to pray and thank God for the gift that he has given us here in KZN‚ here in Nkandla. The prayer is a relief from the challenges you faced in parliament no matter how difficult they were‚" said Ngcobo.
The controversial bishop‚ who led a march during Zuma's court appearance in Durban on graft charges in early May‚ said Zuma's work will be more prominent now that he is on retirement.
"Even those who don't like you must make a plan to like you. Who wants a two-thirds majority must start with Msholozi and say‚ 'Msholozi people love you'. We are here to say‚ ‘Msholozi people love you’‚” he said.
He also praised Zuma for championing radical socio-economic transformation‚ land expropriation without compensation and free higher education.
Zuma led the people in the song "Somlandela uJesu yonke indawo lapho eyakhona (We will follow Jesus wherever he is going) as he got a standing ovation after being asked to lead in song before the prayer.
The religious leaders have also vowed to come out in full force to support Zuma during his second court appearance in the Durban High Court on Friday next week.