Zuma takes a swipe at the Arch

[caption id="attachment_25915" align="alignright" width="150"] DESMOND TUTU[/caption]

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma hit back at Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu yesterday for his criticism of the ANC, two days before the general election.

"My understanding is that bishops and pastors are there to pray for those who go wrong, not to enter into political lives," Zuma said after the Anglican archbishop emeritus last month questioned the calibre of South Africa's leaders.

Tutu has been critical of the ANC government's corruption scandals and poor governance.

A few weeks ago he reaffirmed the party would not get his ballot in the elections.

"I have said I won't vote for them and say it with a very heavy heart," he lamented after saying the new leaders fell short of liberation heroes like Nelson Mandela.

Zuma's government has limped from one scandal to another, the most prominent being the security upgrades at Nkandla, his private rural homestead.

It has prompted a group of ANC stalwarts to call on voters to spoil their ballots, a campaign which Tutu supported.

But Zuma disapproved of the measure. "For pastors to say don't vote ... to me that is a problem. That is entering into a political thing," he said.

His words come despite the fact that numerous clergymen from different religions have attended campaign rallies of the ANC, and even prayed for the party's victory. Other political parties also often invoke religion in their support. – AFP