33 parents in court for dumping kids at pastor’s ‘illegal’ shelter

2013-05-07 14:31

Thirty-three parents – mostly well-dressed women with fancy hairstyles – appeared in court today on charges that they had neglected their minor children by dumping them at an illegal shelter.

They are the parents of 62 children rescued from an illegal boarding house, alleged to have been operated as a religious cult in Umzimkhulu.

The 33 parents were added to the list of accused in the Umzimkhulu Magistrates’ Court this morning. They face charges of abuse and deliberate neglect, alongside Ndumiso Jali (58) and Siphiwo Mancoba (68).

Jali is a pastor of the Crusaders Church and the parents are believed to be professionals and members of his church.

The shelter was raided after officials of the department of social development in the province received a tip-off from members of the community who were concerned that the children were not going to school.

Strange symbols, makeshift altars, red paint markings and doomsday scripture verses plastered on the walls were some of the discoveries during the raid.

It took over half an hour for court orderlies to arrange all 35 accused in the order of their appearance this morning.

The parents – all mothers, except one – said they would be handling their own defence, as would Jali and Mancoba.

They were not asked to plead.

Jali and Mancoba were released on R1 000 bail each in March.

According to the charge sheet, some of the rescued children are as young as three years.

The eldest child is 15.

Children from Nyanga in Cape Town, Lesotho, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg and Krugersdorp were among those rescued.

Weziwe Thusi, KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Social Development, said the children were progressing well in the four places of safety they had been placed in.

Initially, the children were uncooperative and refused to talk. They referred to Jali as their “master”.

“When you tried to talk to them, they used to cover their ears,” Thusi told protesters at court.

It is believed the children had never been to school.

Thusi said the younger children were already in school. Plans were in place to integrate the older kids into the system as well, she said.

Said Thusi: “I would like to appeal to you women to really pray. What has happened here is something we’ve never seen, where women leave the care of their children to men.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.