PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has gone all out to woo various Cape Town churches, even telling them that he thinks some laws are unchristian.
Zuma told a service of the Hazendal Methodist Church in Cape Town yesterday morning that "some of us who are Christians sometimes have the feeling that some of the laws we make are not as appropriate as they should be to the principles of God".
Zuma's statements come after a source inside the South African Council of Churches told Sowetan that they fear Zuma is being influenced by evangelical Rhema Church leader Ray McCauley.
McCauley leads the National Interfaith Leadership Council (NILC), with the ANC represented on the council by its parliamentary chief whip Mathole Motshekga.
Last month ANC MP and NILC member Nthabiseng Khunou told the Mail and Guardian newspaper that the council would "play a role" in revisiting the laws that saw abortion and gay marriage legalised.
This sparked an outcry on Facebook, which has sprouted a 1500-member group called "Get your hands off my rights, Ray McCauley" - featuring a profile photo of McCauley sharing a podium with Zuma.
Zuma has said he wants to change the country's abortion and gay marriage laws, but told the congregation that South Africa was "a religious country". He said the ANC had "always looked upon God for the work it does".
He told the congregation that "those in authority have changed the manner in which they discharge their authority. Don't pray for us only but give us advice because we live in a troubled world".
Zuma then headed for the St Mary's Anglican Church in Gugulethu. There, speaking in isiZulu, he asked about 500 enthusiastic congregants to pray for the government so that it did "not get tempted".
"Ruling a country is not easy. There are too many things that tempt a person in authority. Help us by praying for us that we do not get tempted," Zuma said.
The day before, Zuma paid tribute to ANC national executive committee member Tony Yengeni's family at the funeral of Yengeni's father, Leslie, held at the Gugulethu Sports Complex on Saturday.
Proving that the Yengenis are still a powerful force in the ANC, cabinet ministers and ANC leaders turned out in full force for the funeral, lining up as pallbearers alongside the coffin as Zuma spoke.
These were ANC general secretary Gwede Mantashe and former deputy president Baleka Mbete, Minister of Planning in the Presidency Trevor Manuel, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, deputy Human Settlements Minister Zoe Kota-Fredericks, Deputy Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, and ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema.
Zuma described the Yengeni family as "part of the ANC", and paid tribute to the family's participation in the struggle.