- ‘DA leader’s stunt an insult to the struggle’
- Wesleyan Church an historic site
Wesleyan Church in Waaihoek, Bloemfontein carries immense history as the site and venue where the African National Congress (ANC) was formed by religious leaders in 1912.
The aim back then was to use the party as a vehicle to deliver freedom to all South Africans irrespective of race, stature or gender.
However the rich history of this church was turned upside down this week, ridiculed by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane as he desperately attempted to woe votes ahead of next week’s general elections.
As the election battle intensifies, Maimane and his party supporters saw it fit to raise the statue of ‘a Gupta head’ in front of the historic church, insinuating that the Free State province has been captured by the controversial Gupta family.
During his address to a handful of supporters clad in blue and white DA regalia, Maimane sought to suggest that the ANC that was formed at the Wesleyan Church back in the years doesn’t exist anymore.
However the ANC has slated the action as a lame attempt by the DA to get votes.
ANC provincial spokesman Thabo Meeko did not mince his words when expressing the ruling party’s take on the incident.
“As the ANC in the Free State we view this as an insult to the history of the struggle of the people of South Africa. Wesleyan Church and the colourful historic struggle is the heritage of the people of this country and we must defend it against cheap DA politics and elections desperate opportunism,” said Meeko.
He noted the ANC elections manifesto acknowledges challenges stifling increased service delivery, both in the governing party and the ones faced by the people. He explained the party is committed to serving the people based on plans already outlined in its 2019 elections manifesto.
The provincial spokesman said the ‘publicity stunt’ by the DA attests to the party’s lack of vision, instead preferring to forever bash the ANC.
“This is a desperate programme which once more confirms that the DA has nothing to offer to the electorates except cheap anti-ANC rhetoric.”
Meeko added the ANC has credible leaders in the Free State who are currently focused on a vigorous elections campaign throughout the province to ensure overwhelming victory in next week’s national and provincial elections.
“We have been throughout the province talking to our people and were well received with open arms wherever we went, hence we say we are confident of victory when the votes are counted after Wednesday,” a buoyed Meeko said.
Meanwhile the ANC Youth League in the province had much harsher words for Maimane, calling him a ‘fake pastor’ of a ‘fake church’ in Gauteng.
The league said Maimane behaves like someone cast with anathema for using the churches, including the Wesleyan Church, as his backyard playground.
“As the ANC Youth League we are saying to Maimane the next time he visits the church to play political stunts it will be the last,” ANCYL provincial spokesperson Sello Pietersen said.
He added Maimane needs to be reminded on how the ANC dealt with those opposed to the liberation of the people from apartheid, indirectly indicating same measures would be put to use against him.