Tensions intensify between Shembe church factions before pilgrimage

2012-01-09 00:00

TENSIONS between the three Nazareth Church (Shembe) factions intensified as the Ebuhleni group gathered in preparation to make the annual climb up Nhlangakazi mountain yesterday.

It is alleged that Mduduzi Shembe instructed the Ebuhleni group to embark on the climb, a command which is meant to be issued by the group leader.

The Durban high court ordered the faction to remain without a leader until one was chosen between Mduduzi and Vela Shembe.

An agreement signed by the parties said the Ekuphakameni group is to make the climb on January 2 and vacate the mountain on January 15.

The second party, Ginyezinye will commence its gathering on January 16 and complete their activities on January 23.

And this leaves the Ebuhleni faction to commence their journey on January 23 until January 31.

Ekuphakameni congregation general secretary Edward Ximba said the Ebuhleni group must wait for their turn and stop trying to cause unnecessary tension between the church members.

“Ebuhleni cannot be stopped from ascending to the mountain as it is their constitutional right, but they can only do so on the days they were allocated.

“However, if they wish they can make their way to Homisi homestead which is 20 kilometres away from the mountain and wait there in preparation for the pilgrimage,” said Ximba.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said that police who are keeping the area secure during the pilgrimage period will ensure that no conflict or violence occurs in the area.

“We have heard about all these rumours, but we have not seen anything yet, but we have additional members on stand-by should anything happen,” said Naicker.

Ebuhleni group spokesperson Lizwi Ncwane was not available at the time of going to print to say when the group would begin their ascent.

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