BYLINE: XOLANI MBANJWA
The church has an "active" role to play in South African politics, says Cope presidential candidate Mvume Dandala.
He has urged a church congregation in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, to vote for "good" people in the general election next month.
Dandala visited rural villages at the weekend, speaking at rallies and receiving the blessing of the Venda royal family to campaign "freely" in King Tony Mphephu's area in Makhado.
"We should not be afraid of the contribution the church has made in the struggle for liberation in this country," Dandala told about 700 people at the Christian Worship Centre in Thohoyandou yesterday.
"Many people forget that organs of the church were at the forefront of the struggle.
"It is therefore right that the church must have a word in the rebuilding of this country, and those clergy people who want to make a contribution should be allowed to do so.
"We all belong to a church of Christ, whatever our political affiliation."
Dandala made it clear to the media, pastors and worshippers that his presence in church yesterday was merely to attend the service and encourage people to vote, not to campaign for the Congress of the People. The former Methodist bishop was accompanied by his wife, Phumzile.
His desire, he said, was to see that the government elected on the April 22 was one that "cares for the poor, a government that cares for honesty and the children of this country".
"Please don't stop praying for our country and the elections and for the people of South Africa.
"We need a government that embraces all the people of this country and says we are here to serve all the people. …