Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Friday asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on May 7.
“Let us pray for peaceful and successful general elections on May 7, a right many sacrificed their lives fighting for,” he told thousands of congregants who welcomed him with thunderous applause and ululations when he entered the Ellis Park Stadium for their Good Friday service.
As he approached the stage those in the stadium sang “umshini wam'“, (bring me my machine gun), a song associated with Zuma.
He was accompanied by Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane and Gauteng African National Congress chairman Paul Mashatile.
Zuma said it was almost unthinkable that only a few years ago former president Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo and many other ANC leaders did not have the right to vote.
“In their memory, let South Africans come out in their millions to vote on 7 May, in celebration of this hard won right to choose a government of our choice, the ANC.”
South Africans had a collective responsibility to fight crime, substance abuse and the abuse of women and children, Zuma said.
“Let us use this Easter period for a very profound reflection on how we are going to do all these, to improve our lives and our country...let the believers champion the course for good in the society, so that they lead the way.”
Before he delivered his speech, the church's Brazilian Bishop Edir Macedo asked Zuma to sing his favourite song and he obliged with the Zulu “yinde lendlela esihambayo” (The road we are travelling is long).
The congregation sang it with him for at least three minutes and when he left with his bodyguards after his speech, a recording of the same song was played over the stadium's sound system. - Sapa