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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


ZCC bishop warns against ‘political militancy’

The bishop says the tone of politics has become a concern – politicians need to mature instead of pushing 'populist rhetoric'.


Zion Christian Church (ZCC) bishop Barnabas Lekganyane has called on his congregants to pray for unity in the country.

While addressing a multitude of Easter pilgrims at the church’s headquarters in Moria near Polokwane, the bishop warned against “political militancy” and “populist rhetoric”.

According to the Sowetan, Lekganyana likened South African politicians to traffic lights, calling them robots that are sometimes green and sometimes red.

In a nutshell, he was warning his congregation not to simply accept what politicians told them because politicians would change according to expediency.

Politicians in South Africa who were once friends could be sworn enemies the next day. He said his church would remain neutral, and what truly mattered was the stability of the country and that “ideological differences” did not undermine the country’s hard-won freedoms.

He called for mature engagement in politics, not “populist rhetoric and political militancy”.

He further condemned xenophobia, adding that “we strongly detest racism and discrimination among our people.”

Founded in 1910, the ZCC is one of the largest African-origin churches in southern Africa – boosting an estimated membership of between 4 to 5 million faithful.

On the other hand, St Engenas Joseph Lekganyane of the splinter ZCC church Dove, told the visiting Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa that “when two elephants fight, the grass gets hurt”. This was in apparent reference to the conflict between Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma.

In response to ST Engenas, Ramaphosa said: “I mean obviously the bishop is concerned about things that are happening in the country. The various things that’ll happen in Parliament.

“And it is correct that leaders of the faith should be concerned about the country and we welcome that. Because their voices also need to be heard. We also need their prayers.”

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