Pray for better services, Tutu told

2011-10-05 20:43
Mbombela - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu should pray for better services instead of praying for the ANC government's downfall, says the ANC in Mpumalanga.

This follows Tutu's Tuesday afternoon press conference in Cape Town where he criticised President Jacob Zuma and the ruling ANC over visa delays that led the Dalai Lama to cancel his trip to South Africa.

The Dalai Lama, a fellow Nobel Prize winner with Tutu, was expected to celebrate the cleric's birthday this weekend.

"His prayers might be so powerful that they can overthrow governments, which we respect him for, but, if that is the case, he should channel those prayers to the good cause of ensuring that the people of South Africa have access to basic and adequate services like water, houses, jobs and others to improve their lives," said provincial ANC spokesperson Paul Mbenyane in a statement on Wednesday.

The ANC-led Mpumalanga provincial government is known for organising prayer days to ask God to bring an end to crime and carnage on the roads.

Mbenyane said the party was disappointed by Tutu's statements, but stressed that the ANC supported freedom of expression.

"We believe that the archbishop had gone way overboard on the Dalai Lama visa issue.

"Our belief is that archbishop should understand and respect the fact that visa application matters are between the affected authorities and those individuals concerned and not for the general public" he said.

On Tuesday, Tutu told journalists that he would pray for the ANC's "demise" in the same way he prayed for the fall of the apartheid government, which had a majority in parliament.

"We will pray as we prayed for the downfall of the apartheid government, we will pray for the downfall of the government that misrepresents us... You are disgraceful.

"You have... a huge majority - that is nothing. Watch out ANC government watch out," warned Tutu.

Tutu also added that: "Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid government."

Mbenyane said the statements were regrettable.

"It is unfortunate... It is the same bishop who once said President Zuma cannot be his president whilst passing some unfair judgements on him, which we believe the holy book [which we think the Archbishop reads from] prohibits all of us from doing," said Mbenyane.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    anc  |  dalai lama  |  desmond tutu  |  mbombela  |  service delivery publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks want to continue upward curve
The game of Heyneke’s life
Kriel braced for titanic Welsh clash
VIDEO: The Boks training at Pennyhill Park
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.