Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED
Jacob Zuma. Picture: SUPPLIED

Religious leaders in KwaZulu-Natal will hold a prayer gathering to welcome former president Jacob Zuma’s return home to Nkandla and to thank God for keeping him safe during his tenure as head of state.

The prayer gathering is being organised by the National Interfaith Council of SA (Nicsa) in partnership with the Commission for Religious Affairs in Zuma’s home village in KwaNxamalala on Thursday.

In a statement issued on Monday‚ Nicsa provincial secretary Bishop Timothy Ngcobo said: "The church leaders are of the view that it is imperative to thank God for securing former president Jacob Zuma during his tenure as the president of the ANC and the country."

He said religious leaders from different parts of the country would converge on Nkandla to pray for the former president. The welcoming prayer would also thank Zuma for the role he played as the champion of radical socioeconomic transformation in SA‚ said Ngcobo.

In April, Ngcobo came under fire from Nicsa general secretary Thamsanqa Mvambo after he issued a statement accusing the ANC of treating Zuma the same way as late struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Ngcobo accused the ANC of failing to support Madikizela-Mandela when she appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission amid allegations of murder.

Mvambo said they dissociated themselves with Ngcobo’s statement, although they did not have a problem with council leaders supporting and defending the former president in their personal capacities, as long as they did not do so in the name of the organisation.