Pastor Derick Mosoana, 28, of Faith Chapel SA, a church based in Fetakgomo, Sekhukhune in Limpopo, has come out publicly in support of the drug, saying it was a “God-given herb”.
Mosoana, a former DA member, founded Sekhukhune Congress two years ago.
The party announced its stance on dagga through a statement, saying it would participate in ongoing campaigns to legalise the drug for medicinal and recreational use in SA.
Speaking to Sowetan in Polokwane yesterday, Mosoana said his party would go to the extent of giving legal assistance to those who had been arrested over dagga use.
He said his stance was not in conflict with Christian faith.
“We treat marijuana as any other God-given herb like moringa or aloe. We will also be calling for members of the public to smoke it openly and we will provide legal representation for those who are arrested,” Mosoana said.
Moringa is a tree with much-vaunted health benefits and it is widely used in Sekhukhune.
Mosoana said lawyers in his political party had come out in support of the mission. He said although he did not use marijuana for recreational purposes, he would use it if it was prescribed for medicinal purposes. He said he would not discourage members of his flock from using the drug.
“It would be mischievous for me as a pastor to say that I support people drinking moringa but I don’t support people drinking dagga juice,” he said.
Mosoana said his political party took the resolution to participate in the pro-dagga advocacy after realising that it would do more good than harm to legalise it.
“It’s been medically proven that dagga is not harmful to human beings,” he said, without citing any study on the topic.
A member of his church, Daniel Kaledi, said he did not have a problem with Mosoana’s views.
“Dagga is a herb which people can use to treat ailments. I personally do not use it but I will not crush those who do.”
Another church member, Mautlana Mahlare, said he used dagga to self-medicate.
“I see nyaope causing more problems than dagga,” he said.
President of the Limpopo Ministers Fraternal Bishop, Blessing Selepe, said they were in support of the medicinal use of dagga as it could heal illnesses and prolong lives.
However, Selepe said they were not in support of the recreational use of dagga due to widespread drug abuse.