KwaZulu-Natal - A massive prayer meeting will be held at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in Zululand this weekend to pray for him to retain his position as the ANC president at the party’s elective conference in Mangaung next month.
A family member, who asked to remain anonymous, said the family had organised the function to give Zuma strength to hold on to the position.
It is believed that Deputy President Kgalema Motlante might contest Zuma for the position during the conference.
Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma of the Nxamalala clan in Impendle, who is also a close relative of Zuma, said there would be Christian prayer and a traditional ceremony. He declined to divulge how many cows would be slaughtered for the function.
“This is a prayer for our father [Zuma] as he is preparing to go to Mangaung. Even though it is known that he will win we decided to pray because we want him to be protected from all evil things.
“This is a family function, but anyone is welcome to attend,” said Simphiwe Zuma.
Another source said about 15 buses had been hired to transport Zuma family members to Nkandla from Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Msinga, Impendle and Johannesburg.
“So far we have paid for four buses from Impendle and eight from Msinga,” said the source.
Before the 2007 ANC conference, Zuma went to Impendle to be “cleansed”. This had been organised by Inkosi Simphiwe Zuma and was aimed at helping him defeat former president Thabo Mbeki.
A bull was slaughtered and its head was thrown into the iNzinga river. About 50 virgins washed their hand in the bull’s blood. The cleansing was conducted by a traditional healer.
“There will be lots of meat because the Zuma family likes meat, and they can afford to slaughter,” said the source.
The last time Zuma also went to the Enyokeni Royal Palace in KwaNongoma to receive a blessing from the Zulu King, Goodwill Zwelithini.
The ANC’s North Coast chairman Thulani Mashaba said his party had organised another prayer meeting for Zuma’s journey to the conference. This meeting was postponed as the party was organising the funeral of ANC MP Sam Mthethwa.
“Zuma has already won, but we decided to pray for him as he is going to Mangaung. We were going to pray for his whole family to be protected. But we had to postpone this as we are busy preparing for the funeral,” said Mashaba. - The Mercury