Port Elizabeth - Several church leaders in Nelson Mandela Bay from the Interdenominational African Ministers Association in South Africa (IDAMASA), rallied behind President Jacob Zuma on Thursday, showing their respect for the president of the ANC and praying for stability in South Africa.
The clergy prayed for Zuma whilst singing his praises as he addressed African National Congress (ANC) branches at Nangoza Jebe Hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth.
Zuma said that he had been invited by IDAMSA's to its offices and fully supported the clergy's initiative of renaming the building in honour of late ANC veteran Oliver Tambo.
Several church leaders addressed the crowd, in a hall that was not completely full, with a substantial amount of empty seats.
An ANC supporter asked African News Agency (ANA) not to take photos of the empty seats, adding that photographs should be taken from the fuller side where members had gathered.
Supporters were given t-shirts branded "NDZ for president" in support of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's bid to take over from her ex-husband as president of the ruling party. They danced to struggle songs and praised the president.
Addressing the crowd, Reverend Dr JV Fatuse said that nowhere in the Bible did it say a president should step down.
Fatuse said the church should pray for Zuma to ensure his strength and continuity during his term as president.
Several church leaders closed in on Zuma placing their hands above his head praying for him.
Fatuse said that he would not rest his hand on the president's head, because he believed Zuma was above the clergy.
"Respect the president of the country," he said.
"Different organisations are coming together for his downfall but he is still here. The branches of the ANC must be revived. Don't give up, the metro is coming back. We don't want to become a Western Cape we want ourselves out of DA bondage," said Fatuse.
Speaking in Zulu, Zuma said he agreed with Fatuse's sentiments and said that he believed in a Bible that says leaders must not be removed.
"As leaders you must walk in the footsteps of Jesus," said Zuma.
"Pastors have spoken about sleepless nights since the metro is no longer under ANC rule. What I am seeing today is beautiful, to see IDAMASA and the ANC without difference," Zuma told supporters.