Mantashe comparison of Tripartite Alliance with Holy Trinity ‘blasphemous’ — Church leaders

ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe.

South African church leaders this week spoke out strongly against “blasphemous” remarks by the ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe over the weekend” in which he compared the political Tri-Partite Alliance (ANC, Cosatu and SACP) with the Biblical Holy Trinity.

Apostolic Faith Mission President, Dr Izak Burger said he was shocked by Mantashe’s “blatant blasphemous statements” and the Moderator of the General Synod of the Dutch Reformed Church Prof Nelus Niemandt said many Christians are hurt by “this type of blasphemy”.

According to media reports Mantashe made the Biblical comparison while addressing a political meeting at Wedela, Carletonville on Saturday. Beeld reports that Mantashe also said that as Jesus had 12 disciples, the ANC has had 12 presidents in its 100 year history, and that Mandela had led the people of South Africa as Moses led the Israelites across the Red Sea.

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“With these statements, Mr Mantashe stooped [to] the lowest level of political opportunism. What qualifies Mr Mantashe to make these statements? Can he explain his Christian orientation and theological accreditation?” says Burger, in a media statement released on Monday (November 4).

He continues: “Mr Mantashe’s cheap politicking also insults Christians of all races. If the previous misuse of the Bible has not caused concern amongst Christian citizens – then these latest pronouncements should be cause for great concern.

“The high levels of corruption, personal enrichment and pathetic service delivery by the ruling party indicates a complete lack of respect and fear of God.

“Mr Mantashe owes Christians in South Africa an unconditional apology. He should also explain why the Bible and the Christian faith are repeatedly singled out for exploitation and cheap political gain,” says Burger.

In his statement, also released on Monday, Niemandt says: “In recent years the Christian community in South Africa has expressed its dislike of political leaders’ abuse of the Bible and that which is holy to Christians — especially at election times. The President has done it, and now the Secretary General of the ANC the Holy Trinity has also misused and degraded the Holy Trinity as a metaphor for a political alliance for political gain. Many Christians are hurt by this type of blasphemy.

“We call on the ruling party to strongly censure this kind of behavior. We call on all Christians in our beloved country to stand in opposition to such behaviour. We want to call on other religions to help us to oppose this kind of abuse of our religions by registering their opposition to it in the strongest terms that they may deem fit. We know how the Muslims or Jews or Buddhists would have felt if they had to experience this type of religious abuse.

“May all of us at this time of the approaching elections, exercise wisdom and self-control in order to act in a way that is worthy of our country and our faith.”

The Beeld report notes that the ANC has a history of making controversial religious remarks in recent years, as follows:

February 2011: Zuma: “”When you don’t vote for the ANC you should know that you are choosing that man who carries a fork … When you are carrying an ANC membership card, you are blessed….When (Jesus) fetches us we will find (them) wearing black, green and gold, the holy ones belong to the ANC.”

October 2013: Zuma: “Whether we like it or not, God has made a connection between the government and the church. That’s why He says you, as a church, should pray for it (the ANC) .”

May 2008: Pres. Jacob Zuma: “”It (the ANC) is even blessed in Heaven. That is why we will rule until Jesus comes back.”



  1. Thank you Dr Burger for your stand on this matter. Mr Mantashe insulted God our Father in Jesus Christ; he insulted each and every follower of God our Father in Jesus Christ. If there is any integrity left in Mr Mantashe, he should not only apologize but also vacate his leadership role in the ANC as well as any other leadership structures. The majority of people in our country adheres to the Christian faith – that includes the membership of the ANC.

  2. Eugene Sylvester

    Christian please wake up, If you cannot see what is happening in our country then you are blinded by the devil. I cannot believe that thousands of Christians are voting for parties that are against Christianity, that stands for abortion and gay marriages. Please wake up and vote for a Party that is against all these evil things. Gos bless

  3. Eugene Sylvester

    God Bless, and I challenge anybody who say that it is Ok to do that. You know what? I know that what the Government of the past did was wrong, but as we serve a loving and forgiving God, so we must learn to forgive others, that is where real healing takes place. Not hatred and unforgiveness. Power hungry monsters are destroying their own countries.Just look around the wolrd.

  4. Christians should not be so concerned about whether someone’s utterances insult them or not – that is taking offense against which the Bible cautions us … ! Jesus’ own response, as we know, when He was the target, was ‘ Father forgive them for they know not what they do” This is way more serious and one thought came to mind: remember how the National Party used to justify apartheid using the Bible and look what happened to them : removed from power. May the ANC leaders be aware and not go down the same road … God will not be mocked.

    • I am 60 years old and I do not remember the National Party justifying Apartheid Biblically. Quotes, names and dates please!

      • Hello Hanno, I am 61 and so we were in schools at the same time. Do you not recall the lessons in History when we were taught to look down on any black person because, so we were told, they are the ‘descendents’ of Ham, the son of Noah, who spoke of his father’s shame ? I cannot give you names and dates because just about every news broadcast and every commentary and every newspaper article indoctrinated us to see the ‘swart gevaar’ – and we believed them … And so many blacks were unlawfully arrested, tortured, persecuted etc etc etc. Not to mention the nepotism and corruption that was going on then, even as it is now only then it was behind the veil of the Secrecy Act. You and I were there – we knew and did nothing (well most of us) and the NG Kerk gave the Nationalist government its full support – Where were the warning voices then, excepting Beyers Naude and a few others ? – Fortunately, we had an enlightened leader, FW de Klerk, and a conciliatory Nelson Mandela – and MUCH prayer even around the world – that contributed to a peaceful transition in April 1994 instead of civil war. We prayed then and God heard and answered; let’s pray again!!

  5. The Lord is indeed merciful and would like all persons to be saved. But those who knowingly insult Him will receive their reward. Christians should pray that such utterances should not be heard again and that He should indeed have mercy upon such people. God fights His own battles. Remember Nebukadnnezer, and all others who thought they were more clever than the Lord; their end was assured by their own utterances. ANC may be going the same road. God indeed cannot be mocked, and He will not regard mockers guiltless for using His Name and Majesty in vain.

  6. samuel h kennedy

    My little comment is as ff:the ANC is a pagan political entity no different to the DA/COPE/AGANG/EFF & others. In fact there is No Christian party in SA,we cannot rely on the ACDP which is what many endorse as they do things contrary to Scripture & there is Not a whimper from the professing Christians!Shame on you is my comment!Many pastors & self righteous Christians are happy to support the ANC when it suits their pockets & happy to support the DA when it suits their pockets as well.This is hypocrisy & pastors should rather concentrate on ‘preaching the Gospel’ to the pagans,Amen.Also,let us Not be partial in our responses as Christians.There is a tendency to use these issues to sugar coat some racial prejudice!Our duty according to 1Tim2 is to pray.God will remove the pagan Govt,nationally & provincially,when He determines!Amen.Let us be Christians & act like Christians,Not pick & choose issues!Praise be the Wonderful name of my Master & Saviour Jesus Christ.This is a spiritual battle,Not a fleshly one.Glory to Jesus Christ,Amen

    • “…the ACDP…do things contrary to Scripture…” – Facts please!

      • samuel H Kennedy

        Facts: ACDP is part of coalition of opposition siding with liberals;secular humanists;traditionalists against Govt;they oppose Govt;they have formed an alliance with the DA in Swellendam-there are many more facts.Why have Christian in the party name when the ideology espoused is quasiChristian.Amen

    • Mr Kennedy – in reply I need to remind you that the ANC was originally founded on CHRISTIAN principles ( 1917) and God heard and hasn’t forgotten ! Accusing others of hypocrisy and self righteousness and judging others summa summarum is an undertaking fraught with danger: Mt 7:1
      I agree our fight is not against flesh and blood (Eph 6) so let’s PRAY with a loving, forgiving heart and God will do the rest.

      • samuel H Kennedy

        Hello Barbara-I sadly do not agree with you-they may have said Christ,wolves dressed in shepherds clothing.politics is a pagan ritual & one cannot build paganism on Biblical foundations.I spent many years in the ANC before I was saved & believe me-from a Christian perspective they are fraught with danger!Amen

        • Which parts of
          are according to you untrue?

          • samuel H Kennedy

            Dear Hanno-the voters guide you seem to embrace is & does Not embrace Christianity in its totality,flimsy!Plse read my comments on the ACDP in Swellendam & parliament.Bless you

        • Samuel, politics is as much a pagan ritual as washing your car… the point of similarity being it’s people who dirties it! As a responsible SA citizen – and with your background & experience in government – you need not stoop to blanket accusations of paganism; rather respectfully guide your fellow SA’n in terms of which Party is best positioned/principled to take SA forward on a blest, God-honouring path. God bless.

          • samuel H Kennedy

            Hello Vernon.I hear you. As a Christian it is my duty however to raise the alarm about wolves dressed as shepherds who use pagan politics masquerading as Christians & the ACDP is one of them!Right now there are No political entities that embrace Christ,None.

  7. Assie Van der Westhuizen

    I think that Mr Mantashe had a revelation, but he misunderstood it: you see, the Bible also talks about another trinity, namely satan, the anti-Christ and the false prophet!

  8. Shiney Alexander George

    When everything fails, try God seems to be the stance of ANC. But why pick on Christianity alone? Tell you why: they are cowards. They know that if they so much as whisper the name of the god of other religions, Luthuli House could get bombed.

    • samuel H Kennedy

      Shiney A George-bles you.Good observation.Bible warns us about wolves dressed as shepherds,demons who masquerade as angels of light.This is desperation on the part of the ANC,whenever they anticipate challenges they resort to blasphemy,but…God will judge them,God will intervene on our behalf.HalleluYAH

  9. Mr Mantashe’s comments just shows that the leadership of the ANC is insensitive to the feelings,faith and opinions of the people of this beautiful country. It is incumbent upon all Christians that we wake up and vote differently in the forthcoming election. The leadership of SACLI should also take note of this and respond accordingly. Pst HLengani Chauke

  10. samuel H Kennedy

    because the verses chosen are NOT in its entirety.Similarly Christianity is Not limited to a few subjects & a few verses!this is misleading!Amen.There is more to Christanity than just a few verses.So you want my view-Now you have it!& for your point on a shotgun approach,that is a partial opinion-I suggest you re-read Barbara’s earlier response to you!Let’s leave it there thank you!Amen

  11. You’re still NOT helping, Samuel. Regardless of your personal feelings (right- or wrongly) about the state of politics in SA, Elections 2014 WILL happen, and circumspect SA Christians WILL vote! It’s THE golden opportunity for individuals like you to be a driving force in placing SA on a better Track, going forward. [I can only assume your obvious desire to throw Baby out with Bathwater stems from damaging experiences at the hand of the ANC – thankfully, the ANC is NOT the end-all and be-all of politics in SA!] I believe that despite dirty politics by some, there IS yet Hope for our Nation in the guise of parties like the ACDP. Am I wrong?

  12. Mantashe equates the three organisations with the reputation of causing the most bloodshed in South Africa, with the Holy Trinity, Whose laws are openly flaunted by himself and his comrades.
    “God,” St. Paul warns in Galatians 6 verse 7, “is not mocked. Whatsoever a man soweth, the same also shall he reap.”
    But is Mantashe any worse than those thousands of “Christians,” who attend the idolatrous Rugby and Soccer services on Saturday afternoon and evening, and are too tired, or too hungover so attend Church on Sunday – or those who make consistently make a mockery of God by going to Church on Sunday, and acting like the devil himself between Sunday late morning and Sunday early morning?
    Granted, a political figure is heard nationwide, but God is AlSO being insulted by millions of those who allege that they belong to Him.
    I certainly do not condone the blasphemy in which Mantashe puts the blood-drenched trio at the same level as God, but we must also, as Christians, act more like Christians. By their fruits ye shall know them!