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Religious leaders, ANC call for prayers for former president Jacob Zuma’s speedy recovery

Former president of South Africa Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Former president of South Africa Jacob Zuma. Picture: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Published Aug 17, 2021


DURBAN - CHURCH leaders who have been providing spiritual support to the family of former president Jacob Zuma are hopeful he will recover from the illness that has seen him hospitalised and undergoing surgery.

The Department of Correctional Services said that Zuma underwent a surgical procedure on Saturday and that other procedures were scheduled for the coming days.

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The department said Zuma remained in an undisclosed hospital outside the Estcourt Correctional Centre where he has been serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court since last month.

EThekwini Community Church’s Bishop Vusi Dube said on his last visit to the Zuma family home in Nkandla he had a chance to speak to Zuma’s wife MaKhumalo.

“As someone who is old she had a look of someone concerned, which we all understand. But I was glad to see that after we had prayed for her, the family and offered counsel, her spirits were lifted,” said Dube, who is an ANC MPL in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature and one of Zuma’s staunchest backers.

Dube was part of a delegation that included the KZN leadership of the ANC Women’s League that visited kwaDakwadunuse, Zuma’s homestead last week. He said since his visit he had asked other church leaders to pray for Zuma.

“Personally in my morning and evening prayers I make the point to appeal for the former president’s recovery and swift return home. MaKhumalo expressed such a desire for her husband who has not been with her for a great part of his life either through ANC or government duties,” he said.

Another priest, Pastor Lungisani Shangase, said when he visited the Zuma family home in Nkandla over a week ago to offer prayers, the family, especially MaKhumalo, had shown enormous strength.

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“For somebody carrying such a burden, MaKhumalo was in good spirits and demonstrated enormous courage. As a church even if we are not there physically, in spirit we are with the Zuma family,” said Shangase.

Chairperson of the Regional Church Council, Simphiwe Mkhize said they would continue providing spiritual support to the Zuma family. “The fact is the former president is our fellow member and as such it is always important to provide support when it is necessary to one of our own,” said the reverend. The regional council is one of the affiliates of the SA Council of Churches.

ANC Women’s League provincial secretary Nonhlanhla Gabela said they were planning to return to Nkandla, as the family had appealed for their support.

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“We were very heartened by the appeal and we pledged our full support to the family.

“Although the date has not been set, we are definitely planning another visit and we are not changing our tune over a man who has sacrificed so much for the country,” said Gabela. She said the family was unhappy over what had happened to the former president, they felt let down and that Zuma’s rights had been violated.

The ANC asked South Africans to pray for Zuma.

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“The ANC wishes its former president, who is also former president of the Republic of South Africa, comrade Jacob Zuma, a speedy recovery,” ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement.

“The ANC urges its members and the people of South Africa to keep comrade Zuma in their thoughts and prayers during this time.”


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ANCJacob Zuma