Cape Town - Embattled ANC Western Cape leader Marius Fransman will spend Valentine's afternoon in church in Elsies River, Cape Town, receiving prayers of support while he navigates an allegation of sexual
But Pastor Peter Stevenson of the Rapha Pentecostal Church would also be praying for the woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her while they travelled to the party's 104th birthday commemoration in Rustenberg.
"When a person is in a situation like this we think it has an impact on the family,'' he told News24. "We can't condemn. It is very important to support the family."
The church recognised that it was a difficult time for the woman and her family too. "If you are a pastor, you can't take one side, you must just be fair. What about her family as well? What about her as well?"
The Fransmans were not members of their congregation but there had been a request for prayers over the situation.
"These things need to be solved as God wants."
He said the congregation always prayed for the economy to improve, for the leaders in South Africa, and for unity in the country. They were concerned about the negative effect that unemployment and limited economic opportunities had on the community.
"There is no work, no development in our communities. As a pastor [I] have got to address those things. So as we are praying, God can open their minds and say look to our problems and see our needs in the community.
"We mustn't condemn, we must pray."
Fransman was asked by the ANC to step aside pending investigation of the sexual harassment allegation against him.