DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance (DA), which is spearheading a no confidence motion against President Jacob Zuma and partaking in anti-Zuma marches, on Thursday urged South Africans to pray for their country and her people during this period.

"On behalf of the Democratic Alliance (DA), I would like to wish members of the Christian faith a blessed and reflective Easter. I would also like to wish the Jewish community a happy Passover, a commemoration of the journey to freedom," said DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

He said the Easter and Passover period give the Christian and Jewish communities a chance to deeply reflect on their faith and the kind of society "we live in and the kind of society we would like to build".

Maimane, a former church preacher, added: "I therefore humbly call upon the religious community to dedicate a special prayer to South Africa, the people and the country’s political leadership during this holy period. We urge all South Africans to pray for South Africa and her people over this period."

The DA and other political parties have bandied together and planned rolling mass action aimed at forcing Zuma to step down. 

The President's recent cabinet reshuffle that saw finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas fired triggered the fresh demands for him to step down. Soon after the reshuffle the rand went into freefall and then South Africa was downgraded to junk status by two ratings agencies.

"We must recall the role that the Church played in the fight for the country’s Constitutional Democracy and its deep roots in all of society," said Maimane.

"Church leaders like the late Father Trevor Huddleston and Archbishop Desmond Tutu knew that the Church could not just standby while the country was subjected to the anti-democratic rule of unethical and self-interested men and women."

The DA leader, who still goes to church but no longer preaches, said during these trying and irregular times, it is vital that all of society stand behind the shared democratic and constitutional values that put the country and people first.

"This period also brings with it increased traffic volumes on the country’s national roads, I therefore urge all road users to travel safely, remain cautious and vigilant, and be mindful of all other road users."