Have you ever tried to convince an ANC supporter that it is a bad idea to continue voting for the ANC given the entrenched corruption in that organization?

The ANC supporter or comrade is likely to respond by asking you to recommend an alternative party for him.

This is a trap.

As soon as you mention the alternative party the comrade will then set about reciting all the negative things he has heard about the alternative party.

What this response is effectively saying is that:

Until you show me a perfect alternative party you have no right to advise me to stop voting for my beloved ANC. I prefer the devil I know. Since there will never be a perfect alternative the response is tantamount to a declaration that "I will vote ANC for life irrespective of what they do in office."

In South Africa the vote has never been understood as a means to punish or reward political parties as a means to mould their character.

In South Africa the vote is an affirmation of faith in a political party as a saintly abstract body corporate irrespective of what its leaders do.

It is exactly the same as affirmation of faith in the church as "the body" of Jesus Christ irrespective of what its leaders do.

In fact it is worse than this.

Once a political or church leader or is associated with a political party or church which is considered to be saintly people simply refuse to accept that the leader can do any wrong.

The ANC inculcated this way of thinking in the feeble minds of its semi-literate supporters.

An ANC leader would be convicted by a court of law for corruption but prominent ANC leaders, including cabinet ministers, would stand in a guard of honour paying tribute to a high profile prisoner as he was led into prison or as he left prison after serving a sentence.

In Soweto there is a church called the "Kingdom Prayer Ministries" which is led by a man known as Pastor Bazooka.

Recently people discovered that the "Pastor" was sexually abusing small girls and at least three specific cases were reported to the police who arrested the man.

As is always the case in our country, the criminal was promptly released on bail.

On the first Sunday after Bazooka's release he was triumphantly driven back to his church in a limousine escorted by motorcycles.

The convoy entered the church premises through a long guard of honour formed by jubilant and cheering congregants.

The sermon was about the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

Another "Pastor", known as Omatoso, who had a congregation in Port Elizabeth is currently delivering his sermons by cellphone from a prison.

His church puts the receiving cell phone on speaker connected to a sound system at his old church.

Omatoso was arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for rape.

The congregants were so furious at the whistle blower that she is now on the run.

Sinethemba, the whistle blower in the Bazooka case is also experiencing similar security problems.

The attitude of the congregants towards these whistle blowers is very similar to the attitude of EFF supporters and supporters of Zuma's loot ANC towards whistle blowers such as Pravin Gordhan.

Perhaps the roots of our political problems are our religious beliefs.

South Africans have an abnormal capacity for belief.

We are virtuoso believers.

This capacity, coupled with the fact that South Africa is rich by African standards, has attracted all sorts of charlatans from all over Africa and the rest of the world to come and take advantage of our people.

They think we have more money than sense!

For example Pastor Omatoso is Nigerian.

In the political economy our naivete has also attracted multitudes of criminals, such as the Guptas, to come and take advantage of us.

Whether South Africans suffer misfortune or enjoy good fortune their first thought is always to find some religious charlatan to enrich.

At some stage there was a popular Nigerian Pastor called TB Joshua.

Plane loads of South Africans flew to Nigeria to attend the poorly designed and constructed church of TB Joshua which collapsed taking many South African lives.

These people obviously felt that God listens to TB Joshua more seriously than He/She listens to anybody else.

You might think that it was only particularly stupid South Africans who thought this way BUT even Julius Malema was reported as one of the South Africans who regularly flew to TB Joshua's church for super powerful prayers.

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) played an important role in the struggle against apartheid.

They exposed the religious underpinnings of apartheid as fundamentally anti Christian.

We need the SACC to stop this idolatry of the ANC !!!

It is the SACC which owes us our democracy.

Themba Mdlalose

09 July 2018