Originally published in Times Live
The ANC tried to lure churchmen into its ranks at a meeting with more than 200 pastors yesterday – only to be cast out.
Said ANC Western Cape chairman Marius Fransman: “For us there is an important role [for the church]. We joined the struggle through our involvement with the church.
“As people we understood that we cannot talk about the struggle in the absence of the church. We cannot speak about bettering the lives of our people without involving the church.”
Former African Christian Democrat Party MP Wesley Douglas, who joined the ANC last year, said there would be numerous opportunities for ACDP members who signed up with the ANC.
“We are going to host an annual pastors’ conference at which we will invite speakers like TD Jakes and Myles Munroe.
“There will be an opportunity for pastors to interact with government departments,” said Douglas.
Fransman reminded the pastors that the ANC had been formed in a Bloemfontein church in 1912.
The ANC leadership is hoping that, by reaching out to churches and to the faithful, it will be able to reverse its electoral fortunes in Western Cape.
Since it lost control of Cape Town to a DA-led coalition in 2006, the ANC has steadily lost support in the province.
Yesterday’s meeting was called by the Western Cape Pastors’ Forum, a body for the province’s Christian clerics, to give them an opportunity to debate with the ANC’s top brass .
But the invitation, which more than 200 pastors accepted, backfired.
Asked in a show of hands whether they would join the ANC, more than half of the pastors folded their arms.
Cape Flats pastor Ivan Jones said he would not encourage his congregants to vote for the ANC.
He described the party’s policies as “un-Godly”.
“What the ANC believes, and what it stands for, is against my principles,” he said.
“I’d rather encourage my congregants to vote for a party that stands for biblical truth,” said Jones.
Said Mitchell’s Plain pastor Oscar Bougardt: “This is a ploy! They’re trying to get as many pastors as possible.
“If they get the pastors, they get the congregations. I expected that we would be allowed to ask questions.
“They claim to be Christians but they are killing 89000 people [a year] through abortions,” said an angry Bougardt.