Politics needs religion: Maimane

Mmusi Maimane

Mmusi Maimane

Cape Town — Politics can do with the influence of the church, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said during his Good Friday address at the Faithways Bible Church in Soweto.

“You might be thinking why politicians are coming to churches, that it must be elections,” he said.

“I hold the belief that politics can do with the influence of the church. I still hold the belief that even those who founded the ANC were committed Christians.”

He told congregants to “look forward”, and they murmured in agreement. “It’s time for us to say that we know where we come from. We’re going to cross this Red Sea.”

Earlier, President Jacob Zuma called on Christians to pray for politicians, as the devil was trying to interfere with their work.

He spoke to thousands of members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.

Zuma called on the congregants to pray for Members of Parliament to behave and conduct themselves in a respectful manner.

He professed his love for the church and said the atmosphere in the stadium made him want to attend church regularly.

In KwaZulu-Natal, Premier Senzo Mchunu said the building of a stronger province would not succeed without religious leaders’ involvement.

“Indeed, we need to ensure that churches remain focused on their work of healing the nation and fighting injustices,” he said during the Good Friday service procession through the streets of Durban. He said churches should criticise government when they felt it was going astray and failing to meet the expectations of society. He invited religious leaders to pray for a prosperous province.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town, called on government officials “to tell the truth” about the Gupta family’s alleged influence on matters of state. The Dominican Order of Catholic priests asked Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate the Gupta’s alleged involvement in ministerial appointments.

Meanwhile, the South African public did not vote for the Gupta family, nor did they elect them in any public forum, Maimane said.

The party laid corruption charges against the controversial family at the Cape Town police station on Thursday, following an admission by Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas that they had offered him the top job at the ministry.

The charges were opened by Maimane and Democratic Alliance MP David Maynier.

Maimane said it was quite clear that there was undue influence being exerted by the Guptas,.

He said South Africans had entrusted Parliament and elected representatives, not the Guptas, with decision making.

“Therefore it’s quite criminal that the president feels it quite appropriate for him to go out of his way to allow the Guptas to make those appointments. It’s a betrayal of our democratic processes,” he said.

Maynier said the deputy minister should have reported the Guptas when they made the offer.

“In terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Act, there is an onus on any person who is aware of the contravention of the act, a duty to report that. So there was an obligation on the deputy minister to have reported the offer. Why he didn’t is a question he’ll have to answer.”

The Gupta family has denied all allegations, and challenged Jonas to provide proof of the meeting. — Sapa

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