'Pray for us': Ramaphosa invites the church to be ANC's watchdog

President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at a Methodist Church service in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, on Good Friday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks at a Methodist Church service in Port Shepstone, KwaZulu-Natal, on Good Friday.
Image: Jackie Clausen

President Cyril Ramaphosa has invited the Methodist Church to play a watchdog role on the governing ANC and correct the party when it strays.

Ramaphosa gave Methodist church leaders "presidential permission" to tell the ANC when it was out of line and was not fulfilling its mandate of creating a better South Africa for all.

"I give you presidential permission. The Methodist Church should point out the errors that we are making. Don't stand back. We know you will do it out of love," Ramaphosa said.

The president was addressing church leaders and congregants of the church's Port Shepstone Circuit Good Friday celebrations on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Friday.

Ramaphosa called for better working relations between the state and the church, and called on the church to pray for the governing party.

"With all your prayers and support, we as the ANC are saying, put the ANC and government in your prayers. Pray for us to do the work we are supposed to do,” Ramaphosa said.

He reminded congregants that it was the Methodist Church that “birthed” the ANC by providing a venue for the meeting on January 8 1912 that led to the formation of the organisation that became the ANC.

“I thank this church on the beautiful work they did because the ANC was founded in a Methodist church 107 years ago. And the child you birthed many years ago is grown up now. As we approach April 27 [Freedom Day] this year we will be celebrating 25 years of democracy. Let us remember where we come from,” Ramaphosa added.

The president asked congregants to exercise their “civic duty” and vote on May 8 so the ANC government “can continue with its work of creating a better life for all South Africans”.

He promised that his administration would focus on eradicating unemployment, inequality and poverty.


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