Zuma Promises Not To Crucify Jesus 'This Time'

2014-12-29 10:28

President Jacob Zuma’s references to Jesus’ coming apparently go back as far as 2004. While speaking at an ANC special council, he reportedly said ‘the ANC would rule South Africa until Jesus comes back’, to much external outrage and criticism. He repeated his words in 2006, this time in Kimberley.

In 2007, Jacob Zuma, then ANC Deputy President, was ordained as an honorary pastor by the Charismatic Full Gospel Community Church. Zuma was still on his way to a historic victory in Polokwane, and was being embraced and blessed by churches like a messiah on a quest to revive the ideals of the people’s movement, which many felt Thabo Mbeki had betrayed.

Zuma was supported in his controversial Jesus claims by long serving ANC chief whip Dr Mathole Motshekga, who spoke to a lot less protest when he said at the significant December 2007 elective conference that the ANC had the responsibility to rule 'until Jesus pays us another visit'. While Mathole avoided making an arrogant declaration like Zuma had before, the statement ‘pays us another visit’ might come off as rather loose and unrefined.

In 2008, ANC leader and current Free State premier Ace Magashule matter-of-factly compared Zuma’s run ins with the law with the legendary persecution of Jesus. He said in an interview, “Jesus was persecuted. He was called names and betrayed. It’s the same kind of suffering Mr Zuma has had to bear, but he’s still standing strong.”

The same year, while addressing an ANC rally in the Western Cape, President Zuma had said there was no other political party to lead South Africa but the ANC. “Even God expects us to rule this country because we are the only organization which was blessed by pastors when it was formed,” he said. Adding that the party was ‘even blessed in heaven’, he declared that they would therefore ‘rule until Jesus comes back’.

Just before the elections, while giving a speech in Mpumalanga in March 2009, Zuma supposedly said, “We believers know that Jesus will come back. We say the ANC will rule until he comes back.” He further associated God’s concern over poverty with the ANC’s ideals, and advised priests to therefore ‘just explain, in a paragraph, about the ANC’ when they preach.

This was by far not the end of it. In June 2009,while giving a speech to thank voters for the 2009 elections victory in Witbank, Mpumalanga, Zuma boldly said, “The ANC will rule until the Son of Man comes. He must come back while we are still in power.”

The many utterances of Jacob Zuma on that day were found offensive by Church Authorities (SACC)and Christians alike. The ANC’s Jessie Duarte had to issue a statement in defence of Mr Zuma as a result, explaining that the ‘until Jesus comes back’ remarks were made not in arrogance but due to faith in the people’s allegiance to the party, having voted it into power in four successive terms already.

In February 2011, Jacob Zuma reportedly told supporters in the Eastern Cape that an ANC Membership card was as good as a direct ticket to heaven. “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,” Zuma had said.

In December of the same year, Zuma seemed to be surprisingly turning on his eye raising Christian faith when he remarked, “As Africans, long before the arrival of religion and the gospel, we had our own ways of doing things.” He continued to berate Christianity as the cause for calamities and western institutions like orphanages and old age homes. “Christianity has brought along these things,” he said regretfully. But Mathole Motshekga was later to elaborate on behalf of Zuma that the issue was not Christianity as a faith, but ‘nefarious missionary activities’ hiding behind its cloak.

In September of this year (2014), addressing a meeting with commissioners and ambassadors in Pretoria, Zuma said while speaking off the cuff, “I know they say Jesus will return to fetch us. But I don’t know how many will stay behind. Maybe the majority.” He further asked believers to negotiate with Jesus to first make a preliminary visit to prepare us, before coming for the final judgment. “He must just come for a few years to help us so that we are ready for when he finally comes,” Mr Zuma said.

At a launch of the 16 days of activism against women and child abuse campaign in the East Rand in November, the president reiterated his inner-most concerns on the subject. “We don’t know when Jesus is coming to fetch us. When he was still on earth the sinners were not as many as they are now. He must come again to deal with us and cleanse us,” Zuma said with some apparent degree of confusion and frustration.

On Christmas day, speaking to a special Christmas gathering of elderly people at his Nkandla homestead, Zuma once again lamented the level of sin in our society, insisting they were ‘more than Jesus can salvage’. “I ask the priests to ask God to send His son to come back again to cleanse our sins. He [God] must send him [Jesus] again. This time we won’t crucify him,” Zuma promised with some arguably patronising sarcasm. ©

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