ZUMA URGES FORGIVENESS
ANC president Jacob Zuma celebrated his birthday by preaching forgiveness and reconciliation to more than 30000 congregants of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) on Easter Sunday at Zuurbekom on the West Rand.
Zuma said he felt spiritually blessed to share his 67th birthday with the IPHC and its leader Glayton Modise.
Zuma said that forgiveness and reconciliation were important in building society.
"This nation was founded on reconciliation in 1994. Dwelling on the past will not solve anything," he said.
He said the ANC did not demand retribution for the systematic killings of people and brutal executions of ANC cadres.
He told the congregation that the ANC remained the only party in the country that can unite society in building the country.
Zuma said he was proud of government institutions and that society needed to support these institutions because they were bulwarks against the abuse of power.
"We have built democratic institutions that serve the interests and safeguard the rights of all South Africans," Zuma said.
Referring to his case that was withdrawn last week by the National Prosecuting Authority, he said recent events had shown the capacity of the institutions to effectively perform their constitutional mandate in the face of heated political and legal disputes.
The church's spokesperson, Oupa Mosalakae, said the church has always had a relationship with the ANC since the era of Nelson Mandela.
"As an institution we are comfortable with the ANC-led government, but our members can vote for whoever they want to. Their vote is their secret," he said.
He said every political party was welcome at the church but had to follow procedure before showing up at its gatherings.
"Cope did not follow procedure last year, they gate-crashed," he said.