Pres. Zuma avoided politics on Good Friday during the service at Ellis Park and instead asked for people to pray for the country’s leaders.

“Comfort, love and prayers always give us hope for the task that is given to us. Pray for us, pray for the leaders, pray for crime to go away. Pray for peace and pray that the love of God is with us,” Zuma said.

He attended the Good Friday service at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.

The President was applauded when he arrived shortly after Bishop Marcelo Pires, the leader of the evangelical outreach in South Africa.

Pres. Zuma only spoke for a few minutes.

It is understood that Zuma had indicated only on Thursday that he would attend the service. The church had apparently made it clear that it would not be an opportunity for a political platform.

Zuma has attended the service for the past three years and has said he “feels at home”.

He went on to say that people should remember those who are struggling, those with various problems and those who were facing stumbling blocks, in their prayers.

Ellis Park has a seating capacity of about 62 000 and was almost packed to capacity for a ceremony that was clearly of a religious nature.

The President said it was important, no matter who are you are, to spend time listening to the word of God.