Old traditional churches ask for extension on financial books

2015-11-04 22:11


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Johannesburg – Most of the old traditional churches who were summoned by the Commission for Promotion and Protection of the rights of Cultural, Religion and Linguistic Communities (CRL Right Commission) asked for an extension to review their financial books on Wednesday.

CRL Right Commission head Thoko Mkwanazi-Xaluva said only the Dutch Reformed Church and Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein were able to produce the financial statements demanded by the CRL Right Commission on Wednesday.

Some of the churches expected to produce financial statements on Wednesday included the Methodist church, the Catholic church, the Presbyterian church, the Lutheran church and the Christ Embassy church. All of them asked for an extension.

"These churches are very big, so it’s understandable why they would ask for an extension," Mkwanazi-Xaluva told News24.

Mkwanazi-Xaluva said they have given the old traditional churches a two week extension.

Mkwanazi-Xaluva said one of the reasons some church leaders needed extensions was because of the sheriffs. The sheriffs only gave some religious leaders three to four days to prepare their books.

"This is a bureaucratic problem, not our policy. Legally, sheriffs should not be giving a summons demanding a person should appear within three to four days. The problem is that these sheriffs want money upfront before they serve the individual. So they want the process to be quick so they can get paid. We are working around that so sheriffs can get payment upfront and avoid this situation,” she added.

Sheriffs are in charge of serving summons and subpoenas to church leaders who are ordered to produce their financial statements to the commission. The CRL Commission is currently conducting investigative studies into the commercialisation of churches.

Archbishop Stephen Zondo of Rivers of the Living Waters ministry, who appeared before the commission on Tuesday, said he was only given four days to prepare his financial statements to the commission.

The commission said it will continue in Gauteng with their investigation until Monday.

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