Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Snake and grass pastors summoned! Church members react angrily

PASTOR Lesego Daniel, Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng and Bishop Steven Zondo are among the holy men who appeared before the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.

Pastor Penuel Mnguni, who fed his congregation snakes and made them strip half-naked, was not present.

The briefing was held at the Human Rights office in Braamfontein, Joburg, yesterday. But followers of the churches were not happy to have their leaders summoned. They held placards outside the building asking the commission to leave their churches alone. Some said the churches employ them while government has failed to provide them with jobs.

Pastor Daniel of the Rabboni Centre Ministry in Ga-Rankuwa, who made headlines in 2014 when he made his followers eat grass and drink petrol, asked for an extension.
Snake and grass pastors summoned! Church members react angrily
“I will get back to the commission later,” he said.

Archbishop Zondo of the Rivers of the Living Waters was cleared of all complaints against him.

“They have no comment against us. We came here for nothing,” he told the crowd. Church representative James Rapula said the government should leave churches alone.

The commission has launched an investigation into the commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people’s beliefs.

Mpiyakhe Mkholo of the commission said the investigation was in response to the report launched by the commission in August.

The chairwoman of the commission, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said they only want to regulate religious practices and protect the rights of all people.

“Government involvement in religious matters will be a disaster. The aim of the commission is not to involve government in cultural and religious matters and practices but rather to try and initiate a self-regulatory system for all cultural and religious practices,” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.

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