Congregants, religious leaders and political parties in New Brighton, in the Eastern Cape, gathered at Nangoza Jebe Hall for a special prayer service ahead of the general elections.
Political parties that attended the service include the African Independent Congress (AIC), the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC).
The service was hosted by the Zion Council of Churches. Church spokesperson, Archbishop Mongameli Hoyi, says they want a peaceful election.
“Before the election we pray for them, so we can have a peaceful election and also unity in the country. Because we have more than 40 something political parties contesting, so you can see there that there is something wrong; and so we are inviting God to be part of the elections.”
Earlier, there was some confusion about who had organised the event after the AIC sent out a press statement inviting the media. The party claimed the event was its brainchild.
However, Hoyi has rubbished the claims. “This is not an AIC event. This was a church event and they were invited to attend alongside other political parties.”
AIC leader, Mandla Gola, later conceded that the prayer service was never the party’s idea. “I don’t know where the confusion comes about, this is not our event but the churches event and that is why we are here.”
Speakers acknowledged the role of the church in the fight for freedom. They say while during the apartheid era it was focused on achieving a free, just and equal society – in the democratic dispensation it has shifted to championing moral renewal.
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