Healer hijacked our building for her church

2011-07-13 00:00

COMMUNITY members in Mpangisa administrative area in Mid-Illovo are accusing faith healer Mumsy Lembede of hijacking the Mbalenhle Sewing Centre for her St John’s Apostolic Church.

They also accuse her of building structures next to the 17-year-old centre to house her followers.

Lembede is a proportional representation councillor for the National Freedom Party.

A member who asked not to be named said Lembede repainted the structure in blue and white, the colours of her church, with a huge cross on the side of the main entrance.

She allegedly took the building on the pretext that she would pay a monthly rental.

The member said that when the centre was built there were about 10 sewing machines and a generator that the government had donated to benefit the community.

“We have since given up on the sewing project because the machines and the generator are not there. Nobody knows what happened to them. She repainted the building and erected more structures in which she accommodates her patients,” said the member.

Area induna Mandlakayise Mthembu said the sewing project and poultry and pig projects collapsed with Lembede in charge.

Mthembu said the projects were for the community.

“In the pig project she built the sty on her property, but told the people that it was for them. What we have noticed is that she has been putting her children close to her in all these projects. People would plough the land and she would take the produce to the market and say it’s for the people. What became of that money we don’t know,” said Mthembu.

Lembede said she had sourced community projects from NGOs and worked on them with willing community members.

She ran the sewing project with 10 community members who had since failed to maintain it, she added.

“This community has failed to stick by these projects and when you do that the projects fail.

“I have worked hard sourcing these projects, thinking that I’m helping the very people who accuse me of betraying them.

“As for the centre, the machines and a generator were donated by the Welfare Department. Last year the department came back and discovered that people were no longer working on the project so they came back this year in February and took away their equipment,” said Lembede.

She denied promising to rent the building for her church, saying she worked hard for it to be there by sourcing donors and won’t let it go to ruin.

Welfare Department general manager in the Pietermaritzburg cluster Nokuthula Khanyile could not confirm wether the sewing machines had been removed.

“We have a number of similar projects and in some we’ve made forensic investigations and discovered that there were problems. I’ll have to look into this matter,” she said.

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