Church pulled down

2017-08-31 06:00
A resident speaks her mind as Bishop Dr Derrick Mtsolo, chairman of WCCMA (in white shirt), Bishop Themba Kanase of the Life Changing Community Church (extreme right) and other residents look on.PHOTOS: Mbongiseni MASEKO

A resident speaks her mind as Bishop Dr Derrick Mtsolo, chairman of WCCMA (in white shirt), Bishop Themba Kanase of the Life Changing Community Church (extreme right) and other residents look on.PHOTOS: Mbongiseni MASEKO

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Angry residents of Zwezwe in Khayelitsha have pulled down a tent belonging to a church amid claims that it was put up in an area earmarked for a play park for children.

However, leaders of the Life Changing Community Church, which has been in the area since 2008, say the community is wrong and their occupation of the land was legal.

This emerged at a heated meeting held between the residents and the clergy last Friday.

Although the meeting was called to try to find common ground between the adversaries, they deadlocked on the means to find a solution to the impasse.

Bishop Themba Kanase said the plot has always been earmarked for the church and a crèche in 2008, courtesy of late ward councillor Nolufefe Gexa.

“This plot is earmarked for the church and crèche and we were never given a time frame (duration) for being here.

A recalcitrant Kanase added: “We are going nowhere. The church is for God and for(the) people of Zwezwe. We know that not every resident wants us gone and(is) involved in this.

Our equipment was stolen as they were destroying the church. We feel bad about this. There are people (who)have since been arrested,” Kanase added.

A further meeting was planned for Tuesday, but did not materialise.

Proportional Representative Councillor Veza Nethi, said the meeting did not take place because they were still awaiting documents from the church to support their claims of ownership.

“We are not sure when the next meeting is going to take place. There was chaos after the Friday meeting as residents accused the church of resistance to move out of the area.

Other churches also became targets, but we managed to contain the situation.

We have to find a solution to this,” Nethi said.

In Friday’s meeting, Bishop Dr Derrick Mtsolo, chair of the Western Cape Christian Ministers Association (WCCMA), raised his dissatisfaction with the actions of the residents.

“We look(on) while residents demolish the church. We cannot tolerate that. We have to condemn it, because it is wrong,” Mtsolo said.

A resident, who only described herself as Mam-Mbanjwa, said the church should leave the area to give way to the park for children.

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