ANC uses wrong spiritual leader and wrong prayer

  • Phillips Dr Ethel
The master of ceremonies at the ANC's 105th birthday bash at Soweto's Orlando Stadium last weekend called on “Dr Ethel Phillips, from Judaism”, pictured, to say a prayer. In reality, Dr Phillips is a chaplain with the National Interfaith Council of South Africa. She said the wrong prayer (recited on wassing) and got some words wrong - like bemitzvotavu (sic). This embarrassment was was followed by another woman who was ostensibly representing the Muslim faith. Watch this hilarious incident and see what you think.
by OWN CORRESPONDENT | Jan 15, 2017

Before wasting time watching this entire video, skip to minute 43:30 for what could be one of the funniest and most embarrassing things SA Jewry may have ever seen

The ANC embarrassed itself to the disbelief of the Jewish community by calling on a non-Jew to recite a prayer on behalf of Judaism at the ANC’s 105th birthday gathering at the Orlando Stadium on January 8.

The master of ceremonies called on “Dr Ethel Phillips, from Judaism”, to say a prayer. In reality, Dr Phillips is a chaplain with the National Interfaith Council of South Africa.

Phillips Dr Ethel inside

RIGHT: Remember to jump to 44 minutes into the clip for the funniest one minute you've seen in a long time

Dr Phillips came on stage to the microphone and, instead of a blessing for the gathering, said the prayer recited by Jews before meals when they wash their hands, in passable - but not 100 percent correct Hebrew, she said:

“Baruch ata Ad-nai
el-heinu melech haolam
asher kideshanu bemitzvotavu (sic)
vetzivanu al netilat yadayim.”

Phillips clearly had no idea what she was saying in Hebrew and must have learnt the words by rote beforehand.

She then continued in English. What she said bore no relation to the Hebrew prayer she had just recited:

“Blessed are you, L-rd our G-d, King of the Universe, who has given us this day, that we may gather here in Orlando Stadium.

We commit the ANC into your hands, O Father, the G-d of Israel, the G-d of South Africa.

We commit the President into your hands, we commit the national interfaith into your hands.

Father, we pray for the youth, we pray for the cities, we pray for peace. Ad-nai El-heinu. Amen.”

What had gone so terribly wrong?

The National Interfaith Council of South Africa (NICSA) is a non-profit organisation born out of the merger between the National Religious Leaders Forum (NRLF) and the National Interfaith Leaders Council (NILC).

In 2011 the two organisations dissolved to for a single national interfaith organisation, NICSA, to promote good relationships among people of different faiths.

Perhaps the ANC could find someone who is Jewish to deliver an appropriate prayer at future gatherings – as was done in the case of the Muslim and Rastafarian who followed Ethel Phillips on stage.

Maybe the ANC wanted payback 


RELATED READ: Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein, who was apparently out of the country at the time, is usually asked to say blessings at State events and his office would usually refer someone for an event like this. Rabbi Goldstein was even given pride of place at President Zuma’s State of the Nation address last year.

Chief Rabbi FNB Stadium HOMEHe also sits on the committee of the National Interfaith Council of South Africa.

LEFT: Rabbi Goldstein delivering a eulogy at the
memorial service for Madiba at the FNB Stadium

Perhaps the Chief Rabbi has fallen out of favour after he told a media conference following a meeting of the interfaith leaders last April: For the sake of SA, ANC must remove Zuma. Zuma, said Rabbi Goldstein, had “lost the moral legitimacy to govern this country.”

Read that story on JR Online and watch THAT video to see what the chief rabbi told the media about what the interfaith community President Zuma. He said that the combined interfaith organisations spoke for upwards of 80 percent of South Africans after the county’s top religious leaders met four of the Top-6 ANC members to appeal to them to assist in removing Jacob Zuma as President.

Was this President Zuma’s revenge…?


  1. 5 nat cheiman 15 Jan
    Thats not the only thing the ANC got wrong
  2. 4 Jankel 15 Jan
    Quite right nat. It was interesting to see that immediately after the Phillips woman another woman was called from the Muslim faith. They also don't have female Imams, something the writer missed
  3. 3 Harold 18 Jan
    Poor lady was probably asked at the last moment to recite a brocha.

    The incompetence of The ANC continues to amuse
    ANC should stand for : Another Nefarious Cadre of Comrades
  4. 2 nat cheiman 21 Jan
    Imagine if the ANC flew planes?
  5. 1 yitschak 27 Jan
    sounds like lady Macbeth unable to wash her hands of her victim's blood."Out damned spot"
    Who and why was she trying to wash her hands off?


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