SACC slates Zuma's Christian comments

2011-12-21 15:23

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's comments that Christianity brought orphans and old-age homes to South Africa have come as a shock, the SA Council of Churches said on Wednesday.

"We are just taken aback. We are shocked and we don't understand," said SACC general secretary Reverend Mautji Pataki.

Zuma was quoted on TheTimesLive website as saying that "as Africans, long before the arrival of religion and [the] gospel, we had our own ways of doing things".

He was speaking 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's office has since issued a statement that sought to clarify his comments.

Pataki said that the council was "deeply disappointed" by the president's comments.

"We do not understand why the president, whom we have always counted as one amongst us Christians, would find the Christian faith to be so hopeless with regard to building humanity."

Pataki said that it was the "calling" of Christians to care for the vulnerable of society.

"The Lord Jesus Christ was a friend to orphans and widowers and the old and the disabled. Wherever they are, we will do our ministry... which is to take care of them. It's a calling. It's not a choice."

Co-founder of the International Orphan Network website, Sean Grant, said that South Africans needed to focus on the present.

"There is a great need for social services and care of orphan and widows.

"While there may have not been these institutions in the past, certainly we will see that the current culture in South Africa is abandonment and negligence. If it weren't for religious groups and non-profit organisations, there would be far more lack of care, if not dying," he said.

Social problems

In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency said that what Zuma had meant in his comments at KwaMaphumulo was that South Africans should not neglect African culture, while embracing Western culture and Christianity.

"While we should embrace Western culture and Christianity, we should not neglect the African ways of doing things," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

Maharaj said that the faith-based sector had made a "sterling contribution" for the struggle for liberation and justice for over a century in SA.

He said Zuma would meet religious leaders in the new year to discuss how they could work together on various social problems.

Maharaj said that Zuma's comments at the campaign conveyed his views that "while we welcome the advent of Western culture, some useful traditional ways of doing things and aspects of African culture were undermined or even eroded".

"The president indicated, among other things, that Western culture had brought about the end of the extended family as an institution, leading to the need for government to establish old age homes, orphanages and other mechanisms to support the poor and vulnerable.

"He added that even poverty was an unknown factor as neighbours were always ready to assist each other, giving one another milk or cattle where needed."

  • Bardy - 2011-12-21 15:27

    This guy should not be president! He has made yet another fool of himself and the Christian african people!

      Bardy - 2011-12-21 15:27

      He is beginning to sound like Malema!

      Squeegee - 2011-12-21 15:47

      He blew it and now Maharaj the Crook must spin his way out. He has insulted thousands of people who work daily with orphans and the aged because they are Christians and feel that its their calling. The president is revealing his true self.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-21 15:53

      When you see this sort of 'logic' you understand how he can support Sponge-Bob Squarehead Mugabe.

      George - 2011-12-21 16:09

      The devil made him say it. LoL

      Willie - 2011-12-21 16:36

      This is the result of supporting a wrong horse,i'm sorry this man is an idiot he wants to please everybody,i can bet next time he addresses Christians he will be rubbising traditional healers or african culture.This man forgets like a coy fish

      Daniel - 2011-12-21 16:51

      Not only is he making a fool of himself, he is making a mockery of millions of south africans and at the same time, showing his true red colour !!

      Mannie777 - 2011-12-21 16:54

      How embarrassing!! This idiot that calls himself the pres of SA thought he'll divert from the prepared speech and got his foot in his mouth again. As always everyone’s running around to do "damage control".

      Bongani - 2011-12-21 16:54

      Calm down all of you! It is once again the media that are selecting parts of his speech to create hysteria. The man said in ancient culture we took care of our own. For once I'm not going to judge him because I wasn't there to hear his whole speech. News24 also knows exactly what to post to keep all of us coming back to the site so they can get advertising sold. Nothing wrong with that either. But please don't get a stroke before Christmas. The mortuaries also need a rest!

      emile.eley - 2011-12-21 17:02

      For once I agree with you Bardy.

  • Ben - 2011-12-21 15:31

    Yes and the man who discovered germs should be shot.

      Ben - 2011-12-21 15:36

      The president's logic.

  • Sharon - 2011-12-21 15:33

    I think his speech writer had a little too much Christmas cheer. Maybe JZ should read the speeches before delivering them?

      Lwads - 2011-12-21 15:38

      That's only if he can write his own speeches!

      Adam - 2011-12-21 16:28

      More to the point Sharon, the Prez decided to deviate from his writers prepared speech and offer one of his original thoughts. Sadly, in doing so he put his foot in his mouth again.

  • Larry - 2011-12-21 15:33

    This is the same guy who became a Pastor of a Christian Church, COuted the Rema Church and the Afrikaans church when he wanted votes. The guy is a disgrace, but then again, we should already know this.

  • hc12345 - 2011-12-21 15:33

    Your own way of doing things got you mud huts and clay pots. Be thankful for what you get for nothing.

  • Martin - 2011-12-21 15:33

    Embrace the African Ways...?? Ou bab, jy praat seker met die "Africans" in S.A., want ekt geen idee waarvan jy praat nie!!! Weereens word die huidige toestand van ons land gereflekteer in ons President se "gevleuelde woorde"....en sal ons maar net nooit bo uitkom nie!!! Nice one, ASSWIPE!!!

  • Fredster - 2011-12-21 15:34

    This is what happens when you put someone with a st8 in charge. Clearly not up to it....

      tertia888 - 2011-12-21 15:37

      Standerd 3.

      gcshrimpton - 2011-12-21 16:25

      Actually it has a std 4.Comment by Tickey & Friends against fatboy en sy ma winnie the poo.

  • Mark - 2011-12-21 15:34

    I guess Western civilization also brought courts and the concept of rape and gay/lesbian/women's rights. Terrible, terrible Western civilization making the Africans' lives so difficult.

  • Ken - 2011-12-21 15:35

    What about his extended family?

  • jacques.c.smit - 2011-12-21 15:35

    so let me understand this, christianity is to do with povert, because being poor is a religious consequence and none of money. Orphans is a religous thing and not because mothers throw away their babies or die during/after birth. I mean really? What a tjop...

  • Jimmy - 2011-12-21 15:36

    Oh this fool should just shut his pie hole with a another banana...

      Albert - 2011-12-21 16:41

      Now one can see they want to get rid of JZ.They write him these crap speeches to get him into trouble.JZ, jy het adders in jou boesem my china.

  • Max - 2011-12-21 15:36

    Befriend a snake and this what you get, just forgive him because he does not know what he is saying...

  • Saksak Motsepe - 2011-12-21 15:37

    But why does the SACC slate Zuma Christian comments? Zuma should also be allow to speak the truth about religion and christianity. Christians should stop believing that they are special

      lauren.jansma - 2011-12-21 15:53

      What an ignorant comment. This is not what it is about, Christianity-induced or not, the president is insinuating that we would be better off without orphanages or old-age homes. What if it was your child or loved one who had no where to go, would you rather they were out on the streets, or at least in some form of supported shelter where they can be safe and cared for, with some hope of a decent life??? Even if I was not a Christian, if the orphanage was a Christian orphanage I would be thankful that my child had somewhere safe and decent to go if something were to happen to me.

      Sharmay - 2011-12-21 15:54

      @Saksak so should Africans with their ancestors then.

  • jacques.c.smit - 2011-12-21 15:37

    Oh, and sorry for Western culture for bringinh religion, stability, food preperation methods, medicine, longer lives, care, hospitals, commerce, enablement and education...

      PyroSA - 2011-12-21 15:45

      It's as simple as that - tribal living versus a modern western lifestyle. Yes there weren't "old age homes"... the old usually didn't live to an old age by modern standards to begin with! And nobody people lived off the land on the cheap. No fancy electronics that cost money. Extended families were your only recourse back then if you wanted to be able to survive in your old age, but it's not exactly all rosy, and doesn't scale to the population density we're getting to today.

      Patsy - 2011-12-21 16:03

      Proper buildings etc etc etc....

  • Deeteem - 2011-12-21 15:38

    The true colours of the village idiot are appearing !!

  • Max - 2011-12-21 15:41

    One whe hadn't heard for a long time is "it wasn't what he meant with the words because English is not his first language" or he was quoted wrongly, just wait and see.

  • Graziella - 2011-12-21 15:45

    It was not Christianity but CAPITALISM that brought old-age homes and orphanages in this continent, including racism. Prevailing African customs such as polygamy were attacked without reference to their socio-economic function. On the question of monogamy the Christian missionaries were introducing not a religious principle but rather a facet of European capitalist society.

      Con - 2011-12-21 16:34

      Graziella, there can only be merit in this statement if the western, capitalist nations, from whence this evil ideology was imported, were worse off when it comes to these social ills,than the noble, humane Africa on which it was enforced.

      Daniel - 2011-12-21 17:02

      You should join this chop on the podium, Graziella, you sound like marriage material for the shower man !

  • lebo.lathane - 2011-12-21 15:49

    PLEEAAASE! The 'misinterpreted/taken out of context/misconstrued' excuse is tired. You said what you said and thats it and we all know it wasn't the first (or the last) time you opened your mouth without thinking first. When you put your foot in it, don't turn and insult people's intelligence with such lame explanations. Mxim!

      mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:18


  • Kevin - 2011-12-21 15:50

    ahh our beloved president ..... JACOB the liar ... wait that's a movie

  • Burtfred - 2011-12-21 15:51

    The presidency is like the blind leading the blind. Zuma only opens his mouth to change feet and then gets the discredited, dodgy snake-oil salesman Maharaj to verbally bail him out.

      Hunter - 2011-12-21 17:25

      More like the blind leading the dumb and the deaf.

  • Andrew - 2011-12-21 15:51

    Every time he opens his mouth some damn fool speaks!!!!!!

  • Leon - 2011-12-21 15:52

    Do not become like him, no comment to his remarks would have confirmed Christianity. LLN

  • Patsy - 2011-12-21 15:53

    And tell me, has the ANC's reign brough succour to those widows and orphans who we are told didn't exist before the whites arrived? No. It has brought more hardship and less financial assistance because all the money is going into certain pockets. Less cash is being given to help the helpless and the elite rich are just getting richer and richer. If he weren't so arrogant and didn't make such sweeping and stupid statements Zuma could be called a comedian

  • Andrew - 2011-12-21 16:01

    I wonder wat the Christian Zionist church makes of Zuma's comments. They are conspicuos by their lack of comment!!!!!

  • Ian - 2011-12-21 16:03

    zoom zoom been suiping with fat boy again, what a bunch of lunatics

  • Oh.allemagtig - 2011-12-21 16:04

    Yeah - Out of which orifice was Zuma speaking? No old age homes or orphans? There would not have been after the rampages of Dingaan and Shaka which displaced millions of people. That too was the African custom.

  • jjlambrechts - 2011-12-21 16:05

    Not the first time one of the African National Circus clowns speak before thinking, not going to be the last either. You said what you said Mr Main clown, don't back paddle now. The public ain't stupid - nice going.

  • fred.kruger2 - 2011-12-21 16:06

    Zapiro, please add a toilet roll holder beneath the shower you put on Zuma's head, to clean up the crap that flows whenever he opens his mouth.

      Mannie777 - 2011-12-21 17:04

      Zapiro has so much "material" to use from the ANC - his fully booked until the next election.

  • Hermann - 2011-12-21 16:06

    Zuma is right in the African way they simply clubbed orphans ans the aged to death if they did not leave aged to the mercy of predators. But Zuma must stop thinking in the past, try to think in today and then try the impossible for him to try and think for the future.

  • Johnnie - 2011-12-21 16:06

    Time for Zuma to go back to his kraal and take his bones with him.It would be a good thing if he hands in his resignation at the same time.

  • Sam - 2011-12-21 16:10

    The big enemies who dont forget and forgive yet they claim to be covered by Christianity, they know very well the media can present what they want in order to sell their business; it is naive for a Religious Organisation like SACC to quickly blast the President without getting the core of the statement. We wont be taken for a ride that SACC since the expulsion of Thabo Mbeki they turned their back on JZ and the ANC in support of Cope, we urge SACC to push the word of God otherthan animosity/anger/hatred

      mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:24


  • Kathleen - 2011-12-21 16:11

    If Zuma wants to go back to before the missionaries came, then he must give up his Western lifestyle, his fancy cars, his fancy houses and trips overseas. He commented about it being against the law to discipline his children - who passed this law? The ANC government. Who looks after the orphans and the aged? Religious organisations. He's beginning to sound like Mugabe - and he's insane!

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:38

      did the missioneries bring all that?

      Heinrich - 2011-12-21 16:50

      ...and he must also give up his missionary position.

  • Msholozi - 2011-12-21 16:12

    thank you my great president, these imperialist tendencies brought to us keeping away ecomomic freedom its our mines it is time

      Burtfred - 2011-12-21 16:18

      @Msholozi Who are the "us" you talk of? Please elaborate, but try to be not too racist.

      mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:19


      Lwads - 2011-12-21 16:33

      @Mashandu, Msholozi happens to be Zuma's nickname so you can't blame him for saying that! Or better yet, he's Zuma JNR... You'll never know with Jacob and his family, he's building his own country out of South Africa!

  • rudie.stoltz - 2011-12-21 16:12

    Zuma is not a christian. wake up... very few of them are.

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:25

      who do refer to when you say them?

      Burtfred - 2011-12-21 16:38

      @Jowza You silly boy - didn't your mom teach you - "them" is someone who is not one of "us"

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:46

      so i am not a christian,that makes me one of them?

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:48

      and does that make me inferior?

      Burtfred - 2011-12-21 16:50

      You are assuming that I am a Christian and that therefore to you, I must be one of "them"

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:53

      no i am the comment again before you put your foot into it

      Burtfred - 2011-12-21 17:05

      @Jowza If you are not Christian, that is entirely your choice and in no way makes you inferior to somebody who is Christian. The point I am trying to make is how stupid and elitist rudie.stoltz's comment was. Why do we as South African compatriots, continue to talk about "us" and "them"? This divisive way of thinking is perpuated by the likes of Zuma, Malema, Nzimande, Manyi, Hlope, many others, BEE and a number of bits of racist legislation passed by the ANC in order to keep themselves in power. They regularly refer to "our people" which we all know is a euphamism for "black" people. There should be no "us" and "them" in our nation.

  • Nelia - 2011-12-21 16:13

    Why on earth would he bring up Christianity at a Road Safety awareness campaign. Why do others have to explain what he meant. How does he make a speech and NOT say what he means. Is this speaking with a forked tongue?

  • Ani White - 2011-12-21 16:14

    do we have gay in the old days!

      colin.dovey - 2011-12-21 16:18

      We had happy :-)

      mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:20


  • mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:15


  • Johnnie - 2011-12-21 16:15

    If this is the way Maharaj tries to pacify the public, then it is high time he start looking for another job.THe public is not that bloody stupid.Nobody can have respect for that man - time for him to go.

      mashandu - 2011-12-21 16:22

      Y DID WE VOTE THIS GUY????????/

  • Sam - 2011-12-21 16:17

    In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency said that what Zuma had meant in his comments at KwaMaphumulo was that South Africans should not neglect African culture, while embracing Western culture and Christianity. "While we should embrace Western culture and Christianity, we should not neglect the African ways of doing things," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said. In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency said that what Zuma had meant in his comments at KwaMaphumulo was that South Africans should not neglect African culture, while embracing Western culture and Christianity. "While we should embrace Western culture and Christianity, we should not neglect the African ways of doing things," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said.

      Sam - 2011-12-21 16:22

      I dont understand what is the thumb down when I quoted the article as it is, is it because you read what you like face down what seem s to be truth F#ck

      AmbercrestBB - 2011-12-21 18:37

      It is besause you are not adding any value! We've all read the article. Idiot!

  • errol.wagner - 2011-12-21 16:18

    Why should the SACC be surprised? What made them think Mr Zuma was a Christian? He is the very antithesis of Christian standards and values. It is sad how often our president's statements show his ignorance. His counsellors and advisers would do well to check everything he says in public, then perhaps more people would respect him.

  • Helen - 2011-12-21 16:21

    Mr Zuma is possibly wanting to marry again and knowing what critisism he would get from Christians are attacking in advance. Wake up, Modern Black society chooses out of their own to abandon their children and elderly, it is a world wide phenomena - dont blame it on Christianity. I work in the Valley of a 1000 Hills and let me tell you straight out, it is because of immoral behaviour that yes WHITE CHRISTIANS are caring for masses of orphaned black children - why, because their own family abandons them. In the Zulu culture it is still a shame to have aids and you would rather die than admit it, ask Mr Zuma he knows, he is a Zulu. Stop to always blame others, and take responsability!

  • Peter - 2011-12-21 16:25

    New Year Resolution for the President: "I must keep my mouth shut at all times".

      Had - 2011-12-21 17:12

      And his zipper.

  • Amanda - 2011-12-21 16:26

    Well lets see... I would say that it would be close to the majority of orphans in our country is attributed to AIDS... Their parents have diedc because of AIDS. Showering will not take that figure away...

  • Danie - 2011-12-21 16:27

    I am really glad the SACC came forward with their views. It is rather RIDICULOUS that no comments were (and are) allowed on the original story - I wonder why? Govt KNEW what level of utter disgust (how i feel) would be shown by the PEOPLE of this country.... He (Zuma) makes me ashamed to be South African right now... Kinda sad - I had high hopes for the guy....

      Danie - 2011-12-21 16:42

      I have to edit - news24 eventually started allowing comments on the original article as well - probably got alot of questions/queries about it... lol...

  • Louis - 2011-12-21 16:29

    He now sees that Malema is overpowerring him. I do believe in African culture but that has destroyed a lot of African Countries.Years ago we called it faction fighting ( even families were fighting against each other in the old Transkei and Kwazulu).There are more of his supporters who believe in Christianity than cultures.

  • Kirsten - 2011-12-21 16:29

    With all the corruption, fruitless expenditure etc within the party, there is no money to maintance the orphanages and old age homes...The money from our taxes are meant for their up-keep...Instead its being used for golden handshakes, court cases, corruption, salaries while on suspension, lavish trips abroad, R1m cars, hotel stays and extravagant parties...So the easiest way out, is as usual, blame a 3rd force...He dare not blame his own...

  • Sanegran - 2011-12-21 16:31

    Isn't what he said true.This world what most people call modern is actually barbaric.How can u put your own parents in an old age home.

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:37

      im asking the same question

  • Sam - 2011-12-21 16:34

    mashandu - December 21, 2011 ARE U HAVING OBE READING SKILLS WHAT IS THIS: In a statement on Wednesday, the presidency said that what Zuma had meant in his comments at KwaMaphumulo was that South Africans should not neglect African culture, while embracing Western culture and Christianity. "While we should embrace Western culture and Christianity, we should not neglect the African ways of doing things," presidency spokesperson Mac Maharaj said."

      Ian - 2011-12-21 16:41

      african ways, does that include raping babies and dumping them in toilets and the veld

      jowza1 - 2011-12-21 16:50

      ian we read about westerners doing the same or are all the pedos on the net black?

      Had - 2011-12-21 17:16

      The African ways haven't achieved much.

  • Michael - 2011-12-21 16:38

    Pretty good troll by the President. Touche.

  • phillip.havenga - 2011-12-21 16:40

    This is thinly veiled racism.