Durban - The Methodist Church of Southern Africa has distanced itself from a prayer service which was aimed at giving suspended eThekwini mayor, Zandile Gumede, divine support ahead of her court appearance on Thursday morning.
Gumede is a senior member of the church. She is also an active member of the Women's Manyano, a women's league of the church. On the church’s Facebook page there is a picture of Gumede clad in the church’s full regalia, handing over a donation of school shoes on behalf of the women's movement to an unidentified school.
In a statement distancing themselves from the service, the church’s presiding bishop, Zipho Ziwa, said they have “noted with dismay” the vigil which was planned to be held at their G2 church in KwaMashu, north of Durban.
He further said the planned prayer service which was due to be held at 5pm on Wednesday was not sanctioned by them and it does not represent their views regarding the standoff between Gumede and the law and her political party, the ANC.
“We, as a church, we will not be party to protecting or covering up any alleged illegal activities or corruption. We strongly condemn any acts of corruption regardless of the social, religious and political stature of the perpetrators,” Ziwa said.