Media gets access to controversial churches' hearings

2015-11-06 17:21
(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

(Lizeka Tandwa, News24)

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Durban - The Sowetan newspaper has been granted access to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) after lodging an urgent court application on Thursday.

The CRL had attempted to hold the hearings behind closed doors, saying opening up the work of the commission could prevent complainants from giving evidence.

The controversial leaders of 40 churches are set to appear before the Commission, and are required to submit financial statements, proof of qualifications and details about membership.

In recent media reports, charismatic pastors have been shown instructing congregants to eat grass and drink petrol.

The Sowetan reported that the commission, launched in August, wants to regulate churches.

Young Religious Leaders Gauteng secretary, Abel Mahachi, welcomed the commission, saying in a statement that often the young and destitute were duped by unscrupulous pastors who peddle snake oil and faux blessings.

“This action by the commission gives us hope that we now finally have an avenue for recourse. People have been sold all sorts of items falling short of buying prayers themselves,” he said.

“We are aware of people who have been exploited by pastors that drive the gospel for their own personal benefit.”

Some have been made to ingest all kinds of items in the name of the healing, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, he said.

"The commission must speed up its findings because their decision carries hope for millions of vulnerable people,” Mahachi added.

Read more on:    durban  |  religion

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