Shembe pastor still in a coma

2010-10-06 00:00

SOME family members suspect foul play in last week’s hit-and-run car accident that nearly claimed the life of a Nazareth Baptist church pastor who recently joined a court battle to determine the church’s rightful leader.

Reverend Mini Shembe, who in May this year announced he is entering the Shembe church leadership battle, is still in a coma in an undisclosed Durban hospital following a car accident near Ridge Road in Durban last Tuesday.

According to one of his sons, who asked not to be named, the vehicle his father was driving had a puncture and he was changing the tyre on the roadside when an unknown vehicle struck him and sped off.

“He was rushed to hospital where he is still in a coma.

“The car did not report the incident at any police station.”

Some members of the Shembe family, who spoke to The Witness on condition they would not be named, said that they suspect the incident was an attempt to remove Shembe from the five- million-strong church’s leadership battle.

The Witness learnt that the suspicion is being taken so seriously that all visitors who want to visit Shembe in hospital must be vetted by his wife.

However, the son disagreed with these claims and said the vehicle that hit his father may have sped off simply out of fear over the accident.

In May this year, Justice Mjabuliseni Madondo was about to hear arguments from three factions before determining the titular head of the church when Shembe announced that he was entering the fray.

The other factions in the leadership battle are the eBuhleni group under Inkosi Vimbeni Shembe, eKuphakameni under Inkosi Vukile Shembe and Ginyezinye faction under Inkosi Sizwe Shembe.

Maqhawe Zondo, the legal representative of the Ginyezinye faction, said Inkosi Sizwe visited Shembe at hospital after the incident.

eKuphakameni spokesperson Edward Ximba said Inkosi Vukile tried to visit Shembe, but changed his mind after being told that all visitors have to be vetted by Shembe’s wife.

“We are very disheartened and sorry about what happened.

“We are not aware of suspicions that family suspect foul play,” Ximba added.

A spokesperson for the eBuhleni faction, Chancy Sibisi, said they heard about the incident and wish Shembe a speedy recovery.

“I cannot comment on suspicions that the incident was deliberate as we have nothing to do with such things as church people,” said Sibisi.



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