Reaction to Zuma’s ‘heaven’ comment is childish – ANC

2011-02-08 14:39

The reaction of opposition parties to President Jacob Zuma’s heaven comments was “childish”, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said today.

“We are more surprised by the childish reaction of the opposition parties.

How childish can the opposition be in an open society and a free society?”

Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

“I don’t understand the issue.

I don’t understand the hullabaloo.

Is this the selective application of rights?”

Zuma said over the weekend that to vote for the ANC was to choose heaven, while a vote for the opposition amounted to choosing “hell”.

This drew outrage from opposition parties, church groups and other bodies. Some described the remarks as “blasphemous”.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu added at today’s briefing that Zuma had been “metaphorical in his articulation.”

Mantashe said if it were blasphemous to associate the ANC with Christianity, it was blasphemous to have political parties with the word Christian in their names.

The African Christian Democratic Party, led by Kenneth Meshoe, was at the forefront of criticism of Zuma’s comments.

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