SOUTH African-based pastors from different charismatic churches have threatened to mobilise their members against voting for the ANC should the government fail to heed their call to allow 100% attendance during services.
Spokesperson for the churches Moafrika wa Maila was speaking ahead of a mass demonstration of Christians scheduled for Sunday at the Union Buildings.
At least 2 000 people from across Gauteng would be bused to the venue to voice their disgruntlement at the government’s Covid-19 regulation limiting the attendance in churches to 50 people, said Wa Maila.
“We are not expecting less than 2 000 people to come on Sunday. It is also an issue of calling for the government to open for 100% attendance for our churches because it has not been working to have 50 people (in churches),” he said.
He promised that participants during the protest would adhere to social distancing in line with the regulations.
“The EFF has done it. The ANC has done it with Ace Magashule’s trial. They have done it at Nkandla. We will do it. People will wear masks. There will be sanitised and registered, and there will be more than anything, social distancing.”
He said, to avoid chaos, organisers decided to have people in Gauteng take part and not all their members across the country.
“For only the pentecostal and charismatic churches, we are talking about 18 million people.
“We will only bus members of the churches from around Pretoria and Joburg, and around Gauteng generally. The rest will be pastors driving their own cars with four or five members,” he said.
He said participants wanted to put pressure on the government to allow the 100% attendance in churches: “We know that government ministers and the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) are politicians and they work with numbers.
“The elections are coming in three months, and we want to put pressure on them by saying ‘do what you want or else we will never support you any more’,” he said.
He said pastors would not call for their members to boycott the local government elections, but would mobilise their members to vote against the ANC-led government if it would not heed their demands within seven days after the Sunday protest.
“We are going to call on our members to vote against the ruling government, and for our youth to march to Premier David Makhura’s office to say to him that he needs to speak to the ANC government because he is about to lose Gauteng province.
“That is how radical we are this time around,” Wa Maila said.