“Tsotsi” Bishop applies for bail

2016-01-28 06:00
 The police van arrives at Bishop Lavis Magistrate Court carrying Bishop Nopinky Mdleleni (inset) and other prisoners on Monday January 25.

The police van arrives at Bishop Lavis Magistrate Court carrying Bishop Nopinky Mdleleni (inset) and other prisoners on Monday January 25.

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If eyes were weapons, then the sinister glances exchanged between the followers and the the family of a Bishop facing fraud charges could easily have led to the spilling of blood.

These scenes were played out inside the Bishop Lavis Magistrates Court on Monday.

The situation was visibly tense and security was on high alert as Bishop Nopinkie Mdleleni of God Is Able Healing Ministry- who faces four charges of fraud-was brought in from Pollsmoor Prison where she has been in custody since December 2015.

Mdleleni,40, pleaded not guilty to all the charges and her defence will today(Thursday) file an application for bail.

The case was first heard in the second week of January but was postponed for further investigations.

City Vision understands that the complainants are still mobilising for more people to come out and “lay charges against” Mdleleni. And the social media is flush with new complainants everyday.

Whatsapp posts seen by this reporter, there are more than five new complainants who have vowed to come out and lodge their charges against the Bishop who has fallen from grace.

Last week a group of disgruntled congregants sighed with relief as Mdleleni was denied bail and sent back to Pollsmoor Prison.

Waving placards bearing her name, the members detailed how their church leader “fleeced them out of hard earned cash”.

Hloni Tyali is one of those who claim that the accused bishop “conned” her out of R80, 000.

“I sold my house in Mfuleni and told her I was looking to buy another one. She immediately told me that she knew of a couple that were relocating overseas,” she alleged.

Tyali said she trusted the bishop and never doubted she would harm her.

“She wanted to be a middle person between me and the seller because she said they would sell it cheaper to her.

“I deposited the money into her account and after she said the seller asked for a three months period to move out in October, I saw no problem with that,” she added.

When that period lapsed Tyali went to the bishop and was allegedly told to wait for another week.

“Just before the week ended she phoned saying she had a family funeral in the Eastern Cape and that was the last time I heard from her,” Tyali said.

Tyali said she was shocked when she heard her bishop was arrested on November 24 on matters relating to fraud.

“I was in tears because I knew my money had gone,” she said. The bishop was arrested for defrauding a couple she had promised to “rent them one of her flats in Plattekloof”.

“We met at Khayelitsha Maintennance office and she promised to help find a flat and we paid an upfront deposit of R8 000.

“When the time to occupy the flat came it was apparent we were duped and I opened a case against her,” Siphuxolo Mwanda said.

Mr Mwanda added that the bishop has ruined his trust. “We really believed and now we have to rely on the courts to get back our money or see justice done,” he said.

Attending out interest was Zikhona Ndzo and her husband who claim to be owed about R15,000 by the bishop. “We were members of her church until she started using us as breathing ATMS. When sh was due to to refund us, she came with stories but we believed her nonetheless,” she said.

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