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Monday, 1 December 2008

ANC leader says Zuma is suffering like Jesus

from Mail & Guardian online

ANC president Jacob Zuma is suffering just like Jesus Christ did, provincial leader Ace Magashule said in an interview published on Monday.

"Jesus was persecuted. He was called names and betrayed. It's the same kind of suffering Mr Zuma has had to bear recently, but he's still standing strong. He's not giving up," Magashule, the ANC leader in the Free State, told the Volksblad newspaper on Sunday.

Magashule made a similar statement on Friday when he addressed Zuma supporters while their leader was in the Supreme Court of Appeal, defending a high-court ruling that saw graft charges dropped against him.

In his interview with the newspaper, Magashule explained why he said he did not believe anyone would be uncomfortable with him drawing parallels between Jesus and Zuma.

"Why would it make people uncomfortable? I'm a Christian too. There's absolutely nothing wrong with comparisons of this nature," said Magashule.

"I never said Zuma was Jesus. He can't be Jesus. I merely compared the kind of persecution that had to be endured.

Magashule also referred to the number of ANC members who had left the ruling party in support of its former chairperson, Mosiuoa Lekota, who has since formed the Congress of the People (Cope) breakaway party.

"Jesus had up to 70 disciples, but in the end only 12 remained," said Magashule.

"People are slandering Zuma. What do they want from him? He has long ago apologised and asked for forgiveness for what he has done wrong."

This apology was for having unprotected sex, information that emerged during the rape trial against Zuma, which saw him acquitted.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal reserved judgement on Friday until January 12 2009 to decide on the National Prosecuting Authority's appeal against the high-court ruling which effectively halted the prosecution of Zuma on corruption charges. - Sapa

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