ANC explains Zuma's Jesus remarks

Ruling party downplays president's claims that it will rule until the second coming

The African National Congress (ANC) has noted a concern raised by the South African Council of Churches (SACC) on the remark made by ANC President Jacob Zuma over the weekend that the ruling party would not be conquered until "Jesus comes back".

Founded by religious leaders, the ANC has high regard for Christian teachings, values and principles. It does not intend to undermine these. The President has also gone on record in recognising the critical role played by religious leaders in the liberation of South Africa.

During the 2009 elections campaign, the ANC President visited places of worship in all the nine provinces to seek blessings. After the polls, the President has been on a campaign to thank the people of South Africa for the confidence shown to the organisation in giving it yet another mandate to rule the country.

Remarks made in Mpumalanga should be understood in the context of the President's confidence in the people of South Africa who have - in the last four successive elections - voted overwhelmingly for the ANC. We are confident that the people will continue to do so in future elections due to our track record and legacy.

Statement issued by the African National Congress, June 23 2009

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