Shembe pilgrims get police escort

2012-01-03 08:41

Members of a Shembe church faction have been escorted up a mountain outside Durban by KwaZulu-Natal police officers for their yearly prayers.

“It has become our duty to put up a security plan when the Shembe congregants go to the mountain. We do it every year without fail,” spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said today.

Yesterday the church’s Ekuphakameni faction climbed Nhlangakazi mountain in Inanda for their 15-day prayer session as part of their yearly pilgrimage.

Mdunge said security was needed because the Shembe church had a large following and many people climbed the mountain.

“Some of the people are elderly and they get tired very easily. Ambulance services are always on standby.”

He denied allegations that the group had asked for security because of threats from other rival factions.

“There are always tensions as the church is involved in a leadership dispute, but that is for them to resolve. We will provide security for the entire event.”

Mdunge said the climb was peaceful.

A court interdict issued by the Durban High Court prevents the Shembe church’s Ebuhleni and Thembezinhle groups from going on the pilgrimage until a leadership dispute has been resolved.

The Shembe leadership battle began in April 2011 with the death of Vimbeni Shembe, leader of the largest faction of the church.

According to a will presented by the church’s lawyer during Vimbeni’s funeral, he chose his cousin Vela Shembe as his successor.

However, the church’s senior leaders expressed their preference for his son, Mduduzi.

The matter is currently before the Durban High Court.

The Nazareth Baptist Church, as the Shembe church is also known, was founded by Isaiah Shembe in 1910.

Violent family disputes over succession have plagued the church since the 1970s.


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

 
/Sport

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.