WATCH | 'Jesus arrived 5 years ago. That Jesus is the EFF' – Malema
Church leaders decry party leaders 'Jesus' claim
Nelson Mandela Bay church leaders have accused EFF leader Julius Malema of trying to “score political points” by likening the party’s arrival to politics as the “second coming of Jesus” at the weekend.
The red berets celebrated their party's fifth birthday at Mdantsane in East London on Saturday.
Malema told a packed stadium that the arrival of the party on the political scene was akin to the second coming.
“There was an impression created that the ANC will never be removed‚ that South Africa’s future has been predetermined‚ that the ANC will rule until Jesus comes back… Jesus has arrived five years ago. That Jesus is the EFF‚” he said.
Methodist bishop Jacob Freemantle‚ speaking on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leadership Group‚ said on Sunday the statement was abusive and sought only to score political points.
The Herald quoted Freemantle as saying‚ “As ecumenical churches‚ we do not accept a narrative that seeks to score political points in such abuse and ridiculing of the truths of the Christian faith.
“While we are praying for discourse freely exercised by all political parties‚ we must warn against abuse of any religious faiths and truths. Political parties must desist from the practice of cheapening our truths while canvassing support. Our statements are meant to be pillars of healing and transformation.”
The Daily Dispatch reported that when Malema arrived at noon‚ the 16,000-seater Sisa Dukashe stadium broke into song and cheers.
One person in the crowd‚ who jumped over barriers to get to Malema‚ was roughed-up by security personnel and taken off the pitch.