Durban - At the height of the debate around her opinion piece first carried by IOL and where she questioned the judiciary and its commitments to transforming the South African society, ANC NEC member and minister of tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu, visited the Shembe (Nazareth baptist) church to pray with them during their annual pilgrimage to their holy mountain.
Although the visit that took place on Saturday was never publicised by Sisulu and the church itself, IOL sources within the church of about five million members have since made available some of the videos where Sisulu, who is believed to be gunning for the ANC presidency, spoke to them briefly.
In one of the videos, which is one minute long, a humble Sisulu steered clear of the issues of the judiciary that she recently raised and has earned her praise singers and foes alike.
Instead, she chose to dwell on the infighting of the ANC and the resultant loss during last year’s local government elections where in KwaZulu-Natal it lost several municipalities to the resurgent Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP).
The annual January pilgrimage under the church faction led by Prophet Mduduzi Shembe (also known as Unyanzi Lwezulu) is currently in motion at Khenana holy mountain just outside Durban.
Among those who have so far visited the mountain to pray with the brethren of over 10 000 is disputed Zulu king, Misuzulu KaZwelithini.
Given her brief chance to speak to the brethren about her presence, Sisulu, speaking in Zulu, asked the church to pray for the divided ANC to unite.
“I thank you all members of the Nazareth church who afforded me this opportunity to join you in this prayer. I ask you to pray for us as the ANC to be united and be one because now we are being defeated by the likes of (Velenkosini) Hlabisa (the president of the IFP). Hlabisa has said he (and his party) will continue to defeat us. Thank you a lot Shembe church members,” Sisulu said, drawing some soft laughter from the church.
In the video, one church member is heard saying “Ayikhale” and that could be interpreted as if the member was saying the IFP should continue weakening the ANC at the polls.