On the same weekend that the ANC breakaway group held its convention in Sandton in front of about 5000 people, Jacob Zuma had a rally in Soweto's Jabulani Stadium. About 20 000 people turned up to sing his praises.
I love the fact that our democracy is reflecting more voices. I love the fact that (on the whole) South Africans are free to voice their dissatisfaction with the government.
I'm not sure that any of the voices are entirely free of corruption and self interest, but that's beside the point.
What I don't love is that Jacob Zuma saw fit to include a whole posse of preachers on his platform. If all he was doing was signalling his broad based support it would be ok. But, according to the Star, what actually happened is:
Later, one of the many preachers stood up for devotions to signal the start of the rally, which was aimed at encouraging voter registration for the 2009 elections.
"(Zuma) has not been selected by the people only," the man told the huge crowd.
"Anyone who fights him is fighting Nkulunkulu (the Supreme Being) personally," he said to murmurs of assent in the crowd.
What??? Zuma has been appointed by God? Must be a god that's singing a whole new tune to the one I thought I knew.
What's the next step? Droit de seignuer? Or do we just take that as read?
If there is any comfort, its in the fact that the preacher's pronouncement was met with no more than "murmers of assent from the crowd".