Shembe man retracts stoning comment

2012-06-16 07:17

Enoch Mthembu, the former Nazareth Baptist Church (popularly known as Shembe) spokesperson who called for The Spear artist Brett Murray to be stoned to death, has formally apologised and retracted his controversial statement.

Murray’s lawyer, Okyerebea Ampofo-Anti, told City Press that Mthembu, who joined the chorus of those baying for the artist’s blood over the artwork depicting President Jacob Zuma’s penis, has obeyed a court order to apologise and retract.

Mthembu, who was removed as the church’s spokesperson at the time Shembe split over a succession battle last year, “purported” to speak on behalf of the church, Ampofo-Anti said.

Murray went to court over Mthembu’s statement, securing an interdict against him which gave the former goalkeeper and journalist a deadline by which to formally apologise and retract his potentially fatal statement.

The signed apology reads: “I unequivocally retract this statement and its imputations.

I also confirm that the statements were made in my personal capacity and do not reflect the views of the Shembe Church.

“Every person, including Mr Murray, deserves to have their right to life respected and it was not my intention that people should act on my statement.”

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