Maimane preaches about generosity a week after DA election

2015-05-17 18:13
(Genevieve Quintal, News24)

(Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Johannesburg - A week after being elected Democratic Alliance leader, Mmusi Maimane spent his Sunday morning preaching before his congregation in Roodepoort, probably for the last time in a while.

A relaxed looking Maimane, who is known to the congregation as Pastor Al, stood on a brightly lit stage at the Liberty Church's Discovery campus, preaching about generosity and giving.

"Let's be grateful givers," he told a packed auditorium of people who raised their hands and shouted Amen.

Parishioners at the church are proud of their "Pastor Al", who was last week elected the DA's first black leader. Aloysias is Maimane's first name.

"Pastor Al is to me truly a man of God and it shows when he's on the pulpit or whether he is away from the pulpit. It still shows," Shirika Murray told News24.

"He, I believe, has been spoken to by God. It is a calling that he has had to go into politics and I believe God has a purpose for him in that arena.

"I really do believe as a nation our country needs a man who is Bible based, who has the love of God in him and who actually wants to hear from God. I believe God wants a man like that in our nation, in the political arena."

Murray said she was extremely proud of Maimane's achievement, but was sad that he would no longer be preaching regularly in the church.

Maimane's spokesperson Mabine Seabe confirmed that "he won't be a regular feature at the church as a pastor".

Many of the congregation gushed about what a good man Maimane was and how much he had done for the church.

Family man

After the service Maimane walked around interacting with the congregation who stayed after the service chatting and drinking tea and coffee.

Another congregation member, who did not want to be named, described Maimane as a family man in every sense of the word.

"It's all about family. That's what it comes down to," he told News24.

"Whether it's in a spiritual sense, a communal sense, but it's all about family, uniting people. Getting people together, tapping into people's ability, making them realise there is a purpose... That's what he is."

He described Maimane's election to DA leader as a "big historical achievement" and not because he was the first black leader.

"We've passed the race issue, it's an achievement for a man of God to be acknowledged and just to bring unity, transformation and a whole sense of purpose knowing it's not about me, it's about us as a whole making change, do your part and let's fix whatever we need to fix," he said.

Maimane has been criticised for his Christian views and comments especially regarding gay rights.

This prompted Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini to label him a homophobic.

However, in an interview with Media24's Parliamentary Bureau Maimane said he was appalled at accusations he is homophobic and said he did not believe it was a sin to be gay.

A video of one of Maimane's sermons from last year has been circulated in which he makes reference to "sinners" and the "sick" when he refers to a circle of friends that include Muslims and gay people.

Maimane has reportedly said that his sermon has been misconstrued.

Murray said she felt that the criticism of Maimane had been unfair.

"I personally think he will come under a lot of attack because he is linked to a church and everything he says and does is going to be scrutinised and will always be referred back to the Bible.

"So I think it's going to be unfair. It's unfair in that regard. The bible is very simple in that regard, God is love and he wants all people to come to him and I think Pastor Al is living that word," she said.

Another parishioner did not want to comment on the criticism, only saying: "We all have different opinions about it but from a Christian perspective we know where we stand on that."

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane  |  politics  |  religion

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