Johannesburg - The Northern Cape ANC has disputed an article about President Jacob Zuma and God published by the Diamond Fields Advertiser (DFA) and The Star on Thursday.
"We reject this malicious and deliberate distortion by the DFA [and Independent Newspapers]," the party's provincial secretary Zamani Saul said in a statement.
"This attempt [was] to present the ANC as a blasphemous organisation, which disrespects Christianity and God."
The DFA falls under Independent Newspapers, and the same article was published in both newspapers. It quoted ANC Northern Cape chair John Block as saying that walking with Zuma is like walking with God.
"[Zuma] you are the only candidate we have for the elections. We are already talking about the future [beyond 7 May] because we are not walking this path alone, sihamba nomfundisi [we are walking with a priest]," Block was quoted as saying.
"Xa uhamba nomfundisi kufana nokuthi uhamba noThixo [when you are walking with a priest, it is like you are walking with God]."
Block was speaking at the Jim Summers Hall in Kimberley on Wednesday where Zuma was visiting. Saul said Block never said that.
"... In his [Block's] introductory remarks he made reference to the pastors and priests that graced the event, saying 'we are happy that we have you, as religious leaders in our midst... When we walk with you, it is like we are walking with God, because you are God's representatives'."
Saul said no reference was made to Zuma.
"We demand a retraction and correction of that article," he said.
"We will follow all the necessary channels to have this gross misrepresentation corrected."