This past weekend saw millions of ZCC (Zion Christian Church) members make their way to Limpopo for the bi-annual Zionist gathering. The Easter celebrations take place in the town of Moria, considered to be the spiritual centre of the church. The founder of ZCC, Joseph Engenas Lekganyane, bought the land, which sits about 50km east of Polokwane, before his death in 1948. Moria is now the headquarters of the church and home to Bishop Barnabas E Ramarumo Lekganyane, the grandson of Engenas.
It is estimated that between three and five million devotees take part in the Easter pilgrimage, with the church claiming to have membership of sixteen million people (according to the 2001 South African Census there were 4.97 million ZCC members. The 2011 census did not ask any questions about religious affiliation).
This year, in addition to the congregants, Moria played host to the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, and other members of the ANC’s ‘top six’, who visited the church earlier in the month, with Deputy President David Mabuza attending the Moria Good Friday sermon.