Jacob Zuma slams Christianity

2011-12-21 10:40

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma has berated Christianity for bringing on the existence of orphans and old age homes, The Times reported on Wednesday.

"As Africans, long before the arrival of religion and [the] gospel, we had our own ways of doing things," Zuma was quoted as saying at the launch of a road safety and crime awareness campaign at KwaMaphumulo in KwaZulu-Natal.

"Those were times that the religious people refer to as dark days but we know that, during those times, there were no orphans or old-age homes. Christianity has brought along these things," he said.

Zuma, who in 2007 was ordained as an honorary pastor at a meeting of independent charismatic churches in Durban, told the crowd that South Africans should return to the "old way of doing things" because modernity had been harmful to society.

"We have passed laws that prohibit you as a parent [from using] corporal punishment. Today, when, as a parent, you bring your child [to] order by using corporal punishment, you are breaking the law, but the person who passed that law cannot raise your child the way you want to."

Zuma said while he did not blame such legislation, "I can't be diplomatic about this. It's a fact".

Zuma's apparent criticism of Christianity is in marked contrast to the ANC's long history of using religious terminology to promote itself.

Rule for eternity

On Tuesday, ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga said the ANC needed to remain steadfast as the ruler of South Africa until Jesus returned to the world.

Motshekga received thunderous applause after he told attendants at the Limpopo African National Congress's elective conference in Polokwane, "the organisation has a responsibility to rule until Jesus pays us another visit".

These remarks echoed comments made by Zuma in June 2009 at a rally in Mpumalanga, when he said that the ANC "will rule until Jesus comes".

In February this year, Zuma caused outrage after he apparently tried to woo Eastern Cape voters for the local elections by telling them they would go to heaven if they voted for the ANC; and conversely would experience fiery damnation if they did not.

A Democratic Alliance transcript of Zuma's remarks during the voter registration drive in Mthatha claimed he said: "When you vote for the ANC, you are also choosing to go to heaven. When you don't vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork... who cooks people.

"When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed. When you get up there, there are different cards used but when you have an ANC card, you will be let through to go to heaven."

At the time, ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said that if the word "heaven" was inappropriate in a figurative sense, expressions such as 'marriage made in heaven', 'heavenly voices' and 'sweets from heaven' would not exist.

Six months earlier, Free State ANC leader Ace Magashule told some 900 ANC delegates at a provincial list conference in Bethlehem that they should follow party leader Zuma the same way people in church followed Jesus.


In December 2008, Magashule told Volksblad newspaper that Zuma was suffering just like Jesus Christ did.

"Jesus was persecuted. He was called names and betrayed. It's the same kind of suffering Mr Zuma has had to bear recently, but he's still standing strong. He's not giving up."

At the time Zuma was involved in appealing with a Supreme Court of Appeal case where he was defending a High Court ruling that saw graft charges dropped against him.

The ruling was later upheld.

Magashule said at the time he was not saying Zuma was Jesus.

"He can't be Jesus. I merely compared the kind of persecution that had to be endured."

In November 2008, Zuma said that South Africa was a country based on the rules and principles of God.

Speaking at a national presidential religious leaders’ conference he said: "When all of us take office in government... we raise our right hand and indeed pronounce... so help me God. I believe no-one can argue South Africa is not based on the principles of God," said Zuma.

During Zuma's 2006 trial rape, many of his supporters likened him to Jesus.

"Zuma is Jesus," read one a banner outside the South Gauteng High Court at the time, while another supporter carried a white, wooden home-made crucifix asking: "Why are you crucifying Zuma?"

The crucifix also bore a decoupaged picture of Zuma with outstretched arms.

  • willbeonekenobi - 2011-12-21 10:56

    Christian leaders are probably not going to be happy about this.

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-12-21 11:08

    It must be the eleventh commandment, thou shalt create orphanages and old age homes. Or thou shalt be cast into the bowels hell.

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-21 11:23

    Comparing now and history is simply stupid. You should know better the causes of orphans, it is predominantly the work of HIV-Aids and violence. I feel very much disturbed when people bring culture they cannot interpret into serious issues. How many people including orphans live in dire poverty amid blacks tenderpreneurs who are culturally conscious? Last weeks we read of kids who died on their way to dumping area to salvage crumbs and where were these Africans with the spirit of Ubuntu. This is not new from you, when you want to gratify your sensual appetite you aways bring in your African culture to defend your polygamous lifestyle. You once said you slept with HIV positive woman stating that in your culture you cannot sexually arouse a woman and don't sleep with her. Which culture are you referring to? You drive German machines, dress in Italian suites, stay in flashy houses with bunkers and drink extra matured whisky. Culture is not stagnant and always considers the socio-economic dynamics.

      vlarismam - 2011-12-21 17:05

      Well said!

      Johan - 2011-12-21 17:06

      Quite right...keep going!!

  • Steyn Wessels - 2011-12-21 11:36

    I'm sorry but how can he make these claims..blaming Christianity for old age homes and orphans!! If he ever reads a bible and I'm not saying he can read, he will realise that this is not true!!

  • Docotor Mpondo - 2011-12-21 12:01

    I don't agree with what Zuma is saying about Christianity, as Christian u have 2 luv ur neighbor Lyk da way u luv urcelf. So if we ignore orphans & go to traditional way dat only known by Zuma what is he talking about. Please Mr President try 2 solve problems & stop shifting blame on Christianity cause diz Govt dnt respect it. On da issue of comparing Zuma with Jesus, I dnt knw Wat diz person is talking abt. Jesus didn't hav scandal as his ways were clean bt JZ has bin accuse of wrong doing of which some of

  • Mhlangabezi Pakamisa Nombewu - 2011-12-21 12:58

    Headline should say 'Jacob Zuma slams Jesus Christ because before him we could jack South Africans and not be held liable for it because we died for them during the struggle' Good one Mr Zuma, leaders will be judged by God too.

  • Clement Venter - 2011-12-21 13:08

    Why is there no comments? Are you afraid N24

  • Maximus Odinidus - 2011-12-21 14:16


      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-21 16:51

      True Maxodin, not much more to say. What a ridiculous bunch of people the ANC are, absolutley ridiculous.

  • Mpho Gwala - 2011-12-21 15:30

    Well, there's some sense spoken by the president. Christianity is a white religion which is corrupt to the core, I'm suprised not every Christian is ANC

      Mark - 2011-12-21 16:45

      Mpho have a look at the history of Christianity and you will find that it has its origins in ther Middle East and Africa. It spread through Europe and went as far as Northern India by the end of the first century. Corruption is the response of individuals and can not be used as a generalised statement for all people called Christians.

      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-21 16:53

      And what is black religion dude, please explain in detail? Tokoloshe, umthakhathi, etc?

  • rashaad0hendricks01 - 2011-12-21 19:55

    It always disturbs me when religion and god get blamed for the evil that man does with the choices we make. We choose to kill we choose to steal from those who cannot protect themselves. Its zilch to do with we are suppose to be the best of creation but our choices make us the worst

  • Noha Nur Monareng - 2011-12-22 00:08

    dis man is an unlearnepd hypocrate!

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2011-12-22 06:04

    Next they going to be singing kill the farmer. Kill God. Kill the farmer , kill God.

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