JOHANNESBURG — A ruling South Africa’s ANC leader yesterday appeared to be questioning President Robert Mugabe’s policy as he warned against voting for the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) led by Julius Malema.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe asked for divine intervention on Sunday from a church congregation in Parys in the Free State.
“We ask for prayers. Do not just pray for government, pray for the ANC,” he told congregants during an election campaign trail at the AME church in Tumahole township.
“The ANC is a tool in the hands of God to change people’s lives.”
He said it was a rule for everyone in the ANC to attend church on Sundays, especially during political work.
“It is not because of the ANC’s ways that we are in government . . . it is through God’s will.”
Referring to the EFF, Mantashe told congregants to ask its members how they would deal with the issue of land.
The EFF’s policy was to redistribute land without compensation.
“Look at Zimbabwe. It used to be the bread basket of Africa. Today it imports almost everything.
“The Zimbabwean dollar has disappeared. This economy will disappear if that is the example we want to follow,” he said.
Mantashe urged the congregation to vote ANC, “even though your vote is your secret”.
Mugabe’s supporters have claimed the Zanu PF leader enjoys support in most African countries including South Africa because of his economic empowerment policies.
Malema is also a known admirer of the 90-year-old leader whose land grab and company seizures are blamed for the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy.
ANC and Zanu PF are allies although the two parties have publicly differed on policies in the past.