Yet Zuma remains a charismatic leader and still gets widespread support from Zulus, South Africa’s largest ethnic group. He appears likely to hold onto power as provincial nominations ahead of the national meeting largely have supported him.
Despite that, those leaving worship Sunday at Regina Mundi stressed the need for South Africa’s politicians to follow Mandela’s example.
It was here that anti-apartheid crusaders gathered to plan, pray and to mourn their dead, a church Mandela himself once called a ‘‘battlefield between forces of democracy and those who did not hesitate to violate a place of religion with tear gas, dogs and guns.’’
Mandela’s stained-glass image stands just right of another portraying a man carrying the corpse of 13-year-old Hector Pieterson, who was gunned down by police in Soweto in a peaceful 1976 student protest.
Worshippers acknowledged Sunday they didn’t know which politician would be able to live up to Mandela’s legacy.
‘‘Every person has got his time,’’ churchgoer Lerato Mhlala said. ‘‘Someone must come in and take his place as well.’’
Jon Gambrell can be reached at www.twitter.com/jongambrellAP .