Phosa for president, Eastern Cape pastors pray

Religious leaders say former ANC TG the sole voice that is speaking against the wrong in the party

Phosa for president, Eastern Cape pastors pray

6 March 2017

Johannesburg – A group of Eastern Cape religious leaders have placed their trust in former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa as the only capable ANC candidate that can take over from President Jacob Zuma. A minute-long video making the rounds on social media shows a group of pastors from various churches praying over a kneeling Phosa.At the beginning of the video, one Xhosa-speaking pastor is heard saying: "With that said, it means we have an incoming president, we say that with the hope that it is going to happen."

The congregation breaks into song a few moments later and the pastors are seen praying over Phosa.

When News24 contacted Phosa he requested that we speak to Ses'khona People's Movement leader Andile Lili, the "poo protester", who confirmed that Phosa had attended his late father's funeral.

Lili's father, Wonga Lili, died at the age of 70 after a long illness and was buried during a ceremony held in a small village outside Queenstown in the Eastern Cape on Saturday.

Phosa's name 'not tainted'

"Before we went to the cemetery pastors from various churches asked the programme director if they could pray for Dr Phosa."

Lili said Phosa then proceeded to the front and the pastors prayed for him.

"They told him that they were inspired by him ever since he spoke out about the ANC, they believed that he was the sole voice that was speaking against the wrong in the ANC."

Lili said the pastors also told Phosa that "he was the next suitable president because his name was not tainted".

Lili said the religious leaders had compared Phosa to the likes of Nelson Mandela, OR Tambo, Thabo Mbeki, Inkosi Albert Luthuli and Harry Gwala.

"He is the only one that was still representing them. They also said Phosa made the right decision when he decided not to respond to remarks made by Edward Zuma [Zuma's son], which were insulting him." Cosatu 'paying back' Ramaphosa

Lili said the pastors told Phosa that the current leaders in the ANC's national executive committee "were all tainted".

"Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, by the virtue of her surname, is not a credible leader despite the fact that she was a woman," Lili said.

He said the pastors went on the say that the reason why Cosatu had backed deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa for president was because "it was payback time".

"He dealt with Julius Malema and the Numsa and Zwelinzima Vavi issues, it was time to pay back."

Lili said when Phosa was given an opportunity to respond to the prayer he "urged the ANC in the Eastern Cape to unite".

When News24 asked Phosa if he was willing to stand as president after Zuma, he said: "Once the ANC processes are opened, I will carefully listen to the voices of the cadres and apply my mind."

In the firing line

The former premier of Mpumalanga made headlines recently after an opinion piece he wrote that was published both in the Sunday Independent and on the Daily Maverick website.

In the piece, Phosa was openly and highly critical of the party following the antics at the opening of Parliament.

He wrote: "Now we have a president, when we plead with him to go, stays. My plea remains: Please, for once, serve your people, and go. Go now. If you don't, history will judge you to be the chief architect of the destruction of the ANC.

"I understand that these words will land me in the firing line. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way. I know that there are Cabinet ministers and NEC members who feel the same way. I urge them again, to speak up. Find your inner voices, find your pride, find your character and speak before your children and grandchildren, and history, judge you harshly for being silent."