President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has found himself in a delicate situation with the Christian community after telling ANC supporters “that only an ANC membership card would guarantee an automatic pass to heaven”.
As South African politicians campaign ahead of local government elections, which are expected to take place in a few months time, South African President Zuma has warned ANC supporters that voting for the opposition was tantamount to casting a vote for the devil.
“When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork … who cooks people,” Reports say that Mr. Zuma made the remarks last Friday (February 4) in the Eastern Cape.
“When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven,” he said, adding that when Jesus fetches us he will find us wearing black, green and gold (ANC colours)… the holy ones belong to the ANC.
It is not the first time that Zuma’s remarks have led to a political storm. During the 2009 general election campaign the South African President repeatedly told supporters gathered at rallies that the ruling party, the African National Congress, would rule until Jesus returned.
Reacting to “provocative” remarks uttered by the country’s leader, African Christian Democratic Party president Kenneth Meshoe has condemned Zuma’s comments saying they were a disgrace and simply blasphemous. He argues that no angels would be wearing ANC colours.
“… I am shocked to hear that the South African president would make such a ludicrous statement. It is not only shocking but it is disappointing to hear the head of state that should be an example of integrity choosing to be the laughing stock of the nation by being deceptive.
“This is nothing but deceptive. Nobody can access heaven because of their membership of a political party. For him to suggest that the angels in heaven are also wearing the colours of the ANC, that is nothing but blasphemy” Meshoe is quoted saying.
He urged all Christian members of the ANC to petition Zuma and also ask the president to apologise for such shocking blasphemy saying “angels are not political beings”.