Hundreds at service for JZ

Khanyisile Nkosi

Khanyisile Nkosi

A special service "to give glory to God for answering prayers" was held at the Rivers of Living Waters Ministries in Evaton in the Vaal yesterday.

Pastor George Lebusa, director of administration at the church, said the service was not only to celebrate Jacob Zuma's victory as the new president of the ANC, but also to pray for healing, unity and reconciliation in the ruling party.

"It is not so much about Zuma's victory over (Thabo) Mbeki as about his triumph over the difficulties he has gone through," Lebusa says.

Before the service a grand march by bishops, pastors, local businesspeople, ward councillors and members of the church was organised to honour Zuma.

Other dignitaries who joined in the march included Sedibeng executive mayor, Mlungisi Hlongwane, Emfuleni mayor Dikeledi Tsotetsi, ANC Sedibeng branch chairman Simon Mofokeng and Bishop Bafana Zondo of the Rivers of Living Waters Ministries.

Prominent local businessman Armstrong Motale also attended the service.

Zuma was expected to attend but could not make it and a representative was sent in his place.

Lebusa said more than 170 churches from across the nation came together this year to form the Congress of South African Independent Churches.

He said the congress' role was to increase the churches' involvement in community development.

It was also called on to pray for the government and the leadership of the ruling party.

"It is our duty as churches to pray for our government and the leadership of various organisations as we did in the past when we prayed for President Thabo Mbeki in 1998," Lebusa said,

"The church also prayed for Jacob Zuma during the turbulent times he experienced in February and has continued to pray for him." .

He said that yesterday's prayer service was also focused on the unity of the ruling party.