MORE than 15 000 people gathered at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban yesterday in a day of prayer for the stadium and the city ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and a call for peace and stability in South Africa.
The prayer meeting was organised by The Ultimate Goal (TUG), a group of volunteers bringing churches together by offering various activities for churches to be involved in.
Following an opening prayer from Pastor John Benn that blessed the nation and the stadium, audience members were treated to an hour of song and dance, which included a group of local schoolchildren performing the Diski Dance.
Keynote speaker Michael Cassidy, the chairman of the African Enterprise Leadership Training Centre in Pietermaritzburg, then addressed the crowd.
The death of AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche and the racial tension that the country has recently experienced prompted Cassidy and the KZN christians in the audience to pray for unity and stability ahead of the World Cub
Cassidy urged South Africans to move past racial lines at a time that he considers unity to be of the utmost importance.
“We musn’t refer to each other as blacks, whites, coloured or Indians, but as South Africans,” Cassidy said.
He went on to say that death and life are in the power of the tongue, and that the country would benefit from people learning to control what they say.
In addressing the issue of Julius Malema, Cassidy said: “Malema is a talented young man who is out of control and needs to give his life to Jesus Christ”, to which the audience responded with a loud applause.
Cassidy also pleaded with AWB members to stop entertaining ideas of revenge as he believes this to be a time for forgiveness and reconcilliation.
Among the dignitaries present were IFP leader Dr Mangosuthu Buthelezi, eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba and Jo-Ann Downs, KZN leader of the ACDP.
The Witness spoke to Downs, who said the current racial anxiety in the country has the potential to explode if significant measures are not taken to stop it.
She recalled how the country was united in 1994 during a time of political instability.
“In 1994 we had incredibly responsible leadership and we had people praying. This is exactly what we need at a time like this.”