Renowned cleric Ray McCauley has been at the fore of mediating 'peace talks' between opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the governing African National Congress (ANC) ahead of Thursday's State of the Nation Address (Sona).
Acting on behalf of the National Religious Leaders Council, McCauley says he was approached by political leaders as well as religious leaders to mediate and prevent a disruption of the Sona. It has been widely reported that the EFF is threatening to disrupt the President’s speech by asking him to answer question about state expenditure for upgrades at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
McCauley - who is also the Head Pastor of Rhema Bible Church in Randburg - adds that the talks started in December 2014 and has so far personally met with EFF leader Julius Malema four times.
The EFF has also raised that they are upset with the charges laid against them and that they are tired of being bullied in Parliament on the basis of majority rule.
According to McCauley, the talks are to achieve two things: (a) Have the president address the nation without interruptions and (b) Having the President answer fully all the pending questions in March. McCauley says his involvement in the matter is to have a peace accord signed by the two parties before Thursday and he says the goal is almost achieved:
I am not a politician and I don’t intend to become one, what we trying to do is to facilitate peace, respect and harmony.
Economic Freedom Fighters' Commander-in-Chief, Julius Malema later spoke to Xolani Gwala on 702, clearly stating that any kind of deal that was on the table regarding disruptions at SONA 2015 is off.
Pastor Ray McCauley responded saying that his statement this morning was made because they still wanted to do their best to communicate with all the parties involved and not give up on what they were trying to achieve.
Full audio of Ray McCauley's conversation with Xolani:
This article first appeared on 702 : Church mediation between ANC and EFF ahead of #SONA2015