Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has received criticism from church leaders in the Eastern Cape for his comments that “the EFF is like the coming of Jesus”, SowetanLive reports.
During EFF birthday celebrations at Sisa Dukashe Stadium in East London, Malema reportedly said Jesus would not be unidentifiable, and that he came in different forms and five years ago had arrived in Marikana.
“The ANC claimed that they will rule till Jesus comes, but they were wrong, the EFF has arrived. The Jesus that they are talking about arrived five years ago.”
The church leaders reportedly said Malema sought to score political points with his blasphemous comments.
Methodist Bishop Jacob Freemantle spoke on behalf of the Nelson Mandela Bay Church Leadership Group and told the publication Malema’s comments ridiculed truths of the Christian faith.
“While we are praying for discourse freely exercised by all political parties in our democracy, we must warn against abuse of any religious faiths and truths.
“Political parties must desist from the practice of cheapening our truths while canvassing their support,” Freemantle was quoted as saying.
The governing party’s claim about being in government until the second coming of Jesus was made by former president Jacob Zuma.
Malema said the ANC had been sufficiently honoured for their role in struggling for freedom, with the struggle for economic emancipation being the next step.
Meanwhile, Malema allayed white South Africans’ fears by saying the pursuit for land expropriation without compensation was not directed at them.
“I want to make a clarion call to tell them they should give us the land, and they shall know peace. We need this land to be shared amongst our people, when we say our people, we mean even you white people, black people in particular.”
Malema said some South Africans had made it known they wanted land through the ongoing public hearings on the possible amendment of section 25 of the Constitution to allow for the state to expropriate land without compensation in the public interest.
“The land must be returned to our people. Our women must also be given land. One woman, one hectare. They must not be discriminated against because of their gender, women should own land too.”