‘Isaiah Shembe’s life exemplifies Africa’s long struggle for decolonisation’

Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the Nazareth Baptist Church's commemoration of the death of its founder Isaiah Shembe.

FILEL: Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

DURBAN - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has told thousands of Shembe congregants that the life of the church's founder exemplifies Africa’s long struggle for spiritual and psychological decolonisation.

Ramaphosa was in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, for the Nazareth Baptist Church's commemoration of the death of its founder Isaiah Shembe.

He was joined by ousted former KZN African National Congress (ANC) Premier Senzo Mchunu.

Mchunu is viewed as a Ramaphosa ally and is perceived to be campaigning on the deputy president’s behalf in the province.

Ramaphosa addressed congregants of all factions of the Shembe Church on Tuesday, which has nearly seven million congregants.

He told the audience that Prophet Isaiah led a revolution in Zulu life at a time when his people were losing social cohesion in the face of European cultural domination.

This is one of Ramaphosa’s several visits to the province in less than a week, after joining President Jacob Zuma in Manguzi for Freedom Day.

The deputy president also conducted door-to-door visits on behalf of the KwaZulu-Natal ANC ahead of by-elections in Nquthu and Newcastle.

The province is viewed as Zuma’s stronghold, while Ramaphosa continuously denies being on the campaign trail.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)