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Zuma urges S.Africans to vote

The president used an Easter church service in Johannesburg to canvas votes for the ANC.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has used a mass church service in Johannesburg to canvas votes for the ANC in the upcoming elections.

The president spoke at a special Easter celebration for the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God which took place at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg yesterday.

The event was attended by nearly 50,000 people.

Zuma urged the crowd to ignore calls to boycott the elections.

The ANC and Ronnie Kasrils have been trading blows after the former intelligence minister launched his 'Vote No' campaign earlier this week.

The campaign calls on South Africans to spoil their ballots next month or vote for smaller parties in protest against ANC corruption.

The campaign was launched on Tuesday and is led by Kasrils and former Deputy Health Minister Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge.

But Zuma said struggle stalwarts and specifically the churches fought hard for the right to vote.

"Let South Africans come out in their millions to vote."

South Africans will head to the polls for the national and provincial elections on 7 May.

'VALUES A CRITICAL TOOL'

Zuma said Christian values are a "critical tool" to unite South Africans and urged churches to continue to mobilise society.

He added that churches played an important role in the fight against apartheid and managed to heal the damage of the past.

"We are grateful to the Almighty for the achievements our country has scored since the dawn of freedom. We have built one unites South Africa out of the fragmentation of the past."