Three of the four biggest political parties in the country have unleashed their big guns in a bid to woo voters in fiercely contested KwaZulu-Natal.
On Friday the ANC, DA and IFP have been campaigning in the province over the Easter period.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane picked his battleground in Durban and Pietermaritzburg together with his party’s KZN premier candidate, Zwakele Mncwango.
Maimane attended a church service at the Christian Revival Centre in Chatsworth and another service in Mpophomeni in the KZN Midlands, with Mncwango in tow.
The head of the opposition party used his platform to deliver a sermon laden with parables to condemn the spate of xenophobic attacks in the country.
“Xenophobia is wrong, it is as sin as racism is. Anyone who hates another person because of the colour of their skin is committing a sin,” Maimane told the congregants.
He also condemned corruption in the country, saying it had reached unacceptable levels.
Carrying his party’s “Trust Us” message, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi began his day by carrying a symbolic cross from the Durban Exhibition Centre to the city hall with senior provincial leaders of the ANC including Sihle Zikalala, the ANC provincial chair and eThekwini mayor and eThekwini ANC regional chairperson Zandile Gumede.
While EFF leader Julius Malema spent most of this week in the province, he was not seen anywhere on Friday.
Political parties have sent condolences to the families of the 13 congregants who lost their lives on Thursday night after the walls of the Pentecostal Church in Ndlangubo, on the KZN north coast, collapsed on them while they slept.
ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa, alongside ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula and NEC member Nocawe Mafu, joined hundreds of congregants at the Methodist Church of Southern Africa in Port Shepstone and led a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in Ndlangubo.
IFP MP Narend Singh said that they were saddened by the loss of lives and that such incidents were happening far too often.
“Authorities must always come to the fore whenever a church or any other organisation is building a place of worship or a place of public use, because sometimes there are things in engineering that need to be adhered to,” he said.
“This must be done not because they want to be difficult with those buildings, but for the safety of people, especially when there’s inclement weather.
“The local authorities should do whatever they can to assist organisations to be able to get correct engineering specs,” Singh said.
On Saturday, Maimane is expected to visit the Ugu district on the KZN south coast and leaders of the ANC will campaign in all corners of the province, while Deputy President David Mabuza is set to join thousands of worshippers of the St Engenas Zion Christian Church on Sunday.
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