Tensions brew between church, indunas in Eshowe

By Drum Digital
03 September 2015

Tensions are brewing between members of the Nazareth church and local indunas in Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Tensions are brewing between members of the Nazareth church and local indunas in Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

Bheki Xulu, from Umlalazi, Encananeni Village told News24 on Wednesday that he has been a member of the Nazareth church for 31 years.

The member of the Zizi Temple said the drawn out fighting between the locals began last year.

“There was instability in the community that we live in, the crime was high and the community was always fighting. There was no peace in the area so a decision was taken to call Inkosi Mduduzi ‘Nyazi lweZulu’ Shembe who prayed and peace was restored in the area."

Xulu said local chiefs were present during the prayer.

“Our local chief Inkosi Busisiwe Mpungose, who was not there, wrote a letter to the Shembe leader but for some reason, he never got the letter due to some administrative reasons.

"She was very angry when she heard that he didn’t get the letter."

Power struggle

Xulu said Mpungose was so enraged that she issued a directive ordering all those who belong to the Shembe church to stop going there.

"I am talking about 5 000 people in the area. She told us that she was fining us with a cow because we had been disrespectful."

Last week the congregation bought a cow for Mpungose but Xulu said she refused to accept it and instead she told the church members to appear before the Mpungose Tribal Court in Umlalazi.

"This whole thing is a mess. We are so confused why she is doing this. I think that there is a power struggle."

A church member from the Sibusisweni Temple, who asked not to be named, said, "No one even knows what the letter said. The dispute between the Narareth pastors and the local chiefs is stupid."

Another church leader from Vukani Temple said fighting was causing a rift in the community.

"Thirteen churches were told to stop gathering. This is affecting our lives. We need peace to be restored, we need to sit down and talk about the issues because it is clear that there was miscommunication," said the man who also asked not to be named.

‘Nazareth church has too many problems’

When contacted, Inkosi Busisiwe Mpungose accused members of the Nazareth church of lying.

"This is not true. The Nazareth church have too many problems, I cannot talk about all of them over the phone," said Mpungose.

She denied ever writing a letter and said the Nazareth church must deal with its problems.

"My job is to make sure that there is no bloodshed. I don’t know anything about a letter or what they are talking about. This has been a longstanding dispute and I asked them to take their problems to their leader," said Mpungose.

Source: News24

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