A senior African National Congress official has likened his president Jacob Zuma treatment which he called “persecution:” to that of Jesus Christ.
Ace Magashule, the ANC’s Free State chairperson is quoted as saying “Jesus was persecuted. He was called names and betrayed. It’s the same kind of suffering Mr Zuma has had to bear recently, but he’s still standing strong. He’s not giving up,” Magashule told Volksblad on Sunday.
He also explained a similar comparison he made on Friday while addressing a crowd of Zuma supporters, as Zuma was attending the appeal hearing of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The NPA is appealing the judgment made by Judge Chris Nicholson earlier this year in Zuma’s corruption case.
It’s not the first time that a prominent member of the ANC has drawn a comparison between Zuma or the ANC and the Bible.
‘I never said Zuma was Jesus’
In his speech on Friday Magashule said that although Zuma had been subjected to all kinds of persecution, he had never left the ANC.
Magashule said he didn’t believe anyone would be uncomfortable with the parallels he was drawing between Zuma and Jesus.
“Why would it make people uncomfortable? I’m a Christian too. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with comparisons of this nature.
“I never said Zuma was Jesus. He can’t be Jesus. I merely compared the kind of persecution that had to be endured.”
Magashule said he had also used the comparison to refer to people who had left the ANC.
“Jesus had up to 70 disciples, but in the end only 12 remained.
“People are slandering Zuma. What do they want from him? He has long ago apologised and asked for forgiveness for what he has done wrong.”
Magashule was referring, among other things, to the fact that Zuma had publicly apologised – after being found not guilty on a rape charge – to having had unprotected sex.