Concerned religious leaders in the City of Tshwane have held prayers for the leaders in the capital, calling on them to set aside their political and personal agendas and focus on residents. Reverend Thembilanie Jentile says they called for the day of prayer after a turbulent period in the city when residents experienced unprecedented floods.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and African National Congress (ANC) are  in a battle for leadership of the metro. A special council meeting has been called for Thursday where the ANC and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) will bring motions of no-confidence in the DA leadership in the city.

Reverend Jentile says they are taking a stand to ensure the city’s leadership knows that faith-based organisations and religious leaders are taking note of what is happening in the capital.

“We wanted to pray because we can see there is a lot of bickering in the city. A lot has been going on since November, December. There are talks of ousting the one by the other. And the problem is, we are right at the grassroots. We are faced with poverty, we are faced with flood victims right now. And we’re wondering when is this bickering ending because we are really struggling. So we want to pray for a peaceful resolution. All we want is a united city but we also want the city councillors to know we are watching them.”

Pastor Abel Zuma says services to residents have basically come to a halt because of the bickering between the political parties.

“When two elephants are fighting the grass is the one that suffers and these are people on the ground are feeling the pain with this whole thing that is happening. Community services are not provided because two parties are fighting. As community leaders we are saying there’s a better way of bringing solution other than fighting, like sitting around a table and talking.”

The Speaker of the Tshwane metro-council, Katlego Mathebe, also attended the prayer meeting.

“This is a prayer meeting called by the pastors in Tshwane saying they are concerned about what is happening in the City of Tshwane and they want to pray for the government and remember the government is not a political party, it’s all of us in government. We as the body of Christ must pray for sitting governments.”

Mathebe is one of five DA officials who will face a motion of no confidence on Thursday during a special council sitting. The Executive Mayor, Deputy Speaker, Chief Whip and Chair of Chairs are the other positions being targeted by the ANC and the EFF.