Former African Union chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has appealed to religious leaders to pray for ANC leaders, warning that a weak ANC was not good for South Africa.
She made the plea while addressing an interfaith prayer service in Pietermaritzburg on Friday where she was joined by local ANC leaders including ANC Moses Mabhida Region Chairperson Mthandeni Dlungwane, Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo, religious leaders and members of different faiths from in and around Pietermaritzburg.
The prayer which was organised by the ANC Women's League in the Moses Mabhida Region was for the well-being of leaders. She conceded that the ANC was facing a difficult time but added that the challenges were not above the collective leadership if everyone worked together.
She said because the ANC had its foundations in the church, the religious community more than 100 years ago was valued in the ruling party.
"I appeal to you to pray for the ANC to be in a healthy state and united because a divided ANC is not good for South Africa. Let there be peace and calm in the ANC so that we can continue with the struggle of leading our people to a better life," said Dlamini-Zuma.
The service, which was well attended, comes in the wake of killings of a number of political leaders in KZN, especially in the midlands.
Recently Richmond Municipal Manager Sibusiso Sithole was gunned down and a few weeks later Deputy Mayor Thandazile Phoswa was also shot dead, while uMzimkhulu Municipality Speaker Khaya Thobela was also shot dead a few weeks ago by unknown assailants.
"We are quite worried about the political killings that we are witnessing of late. It is even more concerning when we hear that people are getting killed over positions that lead to public office," said Dlamini Zuma.
She said something needed to be done as there were people who were seeing public office as a passage to self-enrichment and were willing to kill in order to attain this.
About serving the people
"We need to remember that public office, whether as a councillor or MEC, is about serving the people, not an individual. There should be no reason for anyone to kill each other," said Dlamini-Zuma.
Government, according to the former AU chairperson, was entrusted with leading and delivering services to people but there were challenges that needed the involvement of communities, civil society and the church.
Excessive drinking among young people, including women, high levels of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy and increase in rape needed everyone to assist in addressing them.
Faith leaders had a huge role to play as they command a large audience and stressed that they should work closely with government and not only during times of crises. She appealed to all who were part of the audience to continue voting, expressing concern that some young people were opting not to vote.
"Young people do not know how many people lost their lives so that each one of us enjoys such a right, please let us teach our children to vote so that this country remains in our votes," said Dlamini-Zuma.
She maintained that the struggle would continue until all citizens had access to economic opportunities. -- News24