NEWS
28/06/2018 08:25 SAST | Updated 28/06/2018 08:29 SAST

Zuma's Anti-Crime Prayer Campaign Criticised

Outa says Zuma cannot be part of the solution to crime when he was part of the cause.

A supporter wearing the colours of the ANC and holding a portrait of former South African president Jacob Zuma takes part in a rally in support of  Zuma on June 8, 2018 outside the High Court, in Durban.
GIANLUIGI GUERCIA via Getty Images
A supporter wearing the colours of the ANC and holding a portrait of former South African president Jacob Zuma takes part in a rally in support of Zuma on June 8, 2018 outside the High Court, in Durban.

An "interfaith campaign" against crime to be led by former President Jacob Zuma has been criticised as self-serving and hypocritical.

On Tuesday, an group of religious leaders led by the National Interfaith Council of SA (Nicsa) reportedly said Zuma had been selected to lead a prayer campaign "against crime as an enemy of the economy" and help to improve race relations between black and Indian people in KwaZulu-Natal, according to News24.

The campaign will reportedly involve leaders from a variety of religions including Rastafari, Hindi, Shembe and Khoisan. It is expected to start on July 7 in communities in Chatsworth, Isipingo, Umlazi and Wentworth in KwaZulu-Natal. The following week the tour will move to other areas in the province.

News24 reported that on a poster distributed in the province, Nicsa has called for a "road show for nation building prayer against crime and crime as an enemy of the economy".

Nicsa provincial secretary Bishop Timothy Ngcobo told News24 that Zuma "knows the background of Indians, coloureds and black people".

"We need that history because we see now that the Indian community is like an island now."

But the move was criticised by the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (Outa).

Outa chief executive Wayne Duvenage told IOL, "We have no problem that Zuma has his followers and that people have their views about him but it is interesting that someone who is involved in such wrongdoing is given civil society platforms.

Political analyst Thabani Khumalo told IOL that the campaign did not seem sincere.

"Once you start an initiative and centre it around one person, it is no longer for the community and becomes about that person. I don't think these guys are genuine in addressing racial issues as they seem to have a specific agenda," he said.