The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) does not feel threatened by the new church-based political parties contesting the May 8 election because they consider them newcomers that won’t last long.
This was the view of ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe who said the party was steadfast in its stance for a society based on Christian values.
He was speaking to members of the media on the sidelines of the party manifesto launch at the Johannesburg City Hall on Sunday.
Meshoe said the ACDP was an experienced party in the political arena that voters trusted as representing Christian values, while all other parties were not experienced in politics but were newcomers that would disappear after the elections.
The ACDP is expected to battle against newcomers such as African Transformation Movement (ATM), African Freedom Revolution (AFR) and the Christian Political Movement (CPM).
The ATM is backed by a church led by Bishop John Bolana, a vocal supporter of president Jacob Zuma. It had been joined by prominent persons such as former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, former ANC Eastern Cape treasurer Mandisa Marawu, former DA Eastern Cape member of the provincial legislature Veliswa Mvenya, and former EFF Eastern Cape chair Themba Wele.
The CPM is led by the influential Eastern Cape-based Brian Lonwabo Mahlati and the party was established with a group of church leaders from the smaller churches countrywide.
The KwaZulu-Natal-based AFR is led by Bishop Timothy Ngcobo, who was also linked to Zuma. Ngcobo is also the provincial secretary of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa.
It is feared that the three parties would give the ACDP a run for their money with church backing, but Meshoe was adamant that they feared nothing.
Speaking at the party manifesto launch, ACDP Gauteng premier candidate Bishop Dulton Adams said they had achieved a great success after pushing for the passing of South Africa’s first members bill which allowed a father the right to claim 10 days’ paternity leave. It also fought for all Christian holidays to be kept.
Adams said if the ACDP in Gauteng was afforded the opportunity to govern, it would implement a National Entrepreneurship Strategy and remove the red tape which restricted youth from accessing funds.
“Now is the time to lift our people, our nation from the quicksand of racial discrimination, elitism and classism to the solid rock of Ubuntu,” Adams said.