Attack at Shembe holy mountain

2012-01-16 12:35

Durban - Police are monitoring the situation after two pilgrims were attacked during an apparent clash between rival factions of the Nazareth Baptist Church at its holy mountain in Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal, over the weekend.

"The situation is tense. Two of our people narrowly escaped death when their car was sprayed with bullets on Saturday," Thokozani Mncwabe, of the church’s eBuhleni faction, said on Monday.

He said the two had gone to the mountain while it was still occupied by members of the rival eKuphakameni faction.

Members of the two factions make a pilgrimage to the Nhlangakazi Mountain, outside Durban, in January every year.


They always ascend on different dates to avoid clashes.

The eKuphakameni faction was escorted by police when climbing Nhlangakazi mountain on January 2.

"Our reverend made a mistake of not getting a permit from the police early. That is why the incident happened. The attack could have been avoided," said Mncwabe.

"The police have been deployed there to prevent clashes, but they failed to stop the attack," he said.

Mncwabe said members of the eKuphakameni faction had left the mountain on Sunday afternoon and that his faction was expected to start occupying the mountain on Monday.

Police monitoring situation

The police are expected to closely monitor the situation on Monday as the eBuhleni faction is also deeply divided.

"We will continue to monitor the situation there to prevent clashes and crime in general," said Colonel Jay Naicker.

A leadership battle in the eBuhleni faction began in April 2011 with the death of its leader Vimbeni Shembe.

According to a will presented by the church's lawyer during Vimbeni's funeral, he chose his cousin Vela Shembe as his successor.

However, the church's senior leaders expressed their preference for his son Mduduzi.

The matter is currently before the KwaZulu-Natal High Court.

The Nazareth Baptist Church, also known as the Shembe church, was founded by Isaiah Shembe in 1910.

Violent family disputes over succession have plagued the church since the 1970s. The church now has numerous factions.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • madsipho - 2012-01-16 12:57

    Is this a church or some terrorist group?

      pasca.motaung - 2012-01-16 13:59

      its a confused African Traditional Church which has nothing to do with Jesus Christ because they believe Jesus is a white guy who knows nothing about their culture but funny enough,they called themselve "NAZARETH BAPTIST CHURCH" instead of African Traditional church.pathetic.

      DuToitCoetzee - 2012-01-16 14:15

      Thanks pasca. I h'v just learned something.

      David - 2012-01-16 14:45

      A militant religious group which has split into 2 factions and are now fighting each other on a "holy" mountain! Wonder what the biblical Moses would say about this..LOL

      madsipho - 2012-01-16 16:07

      Thanks pasaca.mataung, at the same time I dont think the mountain is Holly, otherwise the wouldnt be kulling each other....

  • Hermann - 2012-01-16 13:01

    Holy smoke religious factions at it again - they are worse than us pagans.

  • andre.smuts - 2012-01-16 13:12

    Erm..ok..what exactly are these people being taught. Bipartisanship, Belligerence, Separatism, Hate, Murder. One would prefer to think that these acts wee perpetrated by errant members of a fundamentalist stripe, but the talk of "Factions" clearly indicates that that this is a house divided upon itself. To quote the book that's inspiring them to ascend this hill of confusion. By their fruits shall they be known.

  • Nitro - 2012-01-16 13:19

    Ai ai ai

  • Zion - 2012-01-16 13:28

    And so it becomes easier to justify not being a Christian. It seems that in order to be a Christian you have to put up with the terrorist-like activities of Christianity or other Christian bodies. The Gods would turn in their graves.

      madsipho - 2012-01-16 16:10

      Christians do not go and shoot each other like these guys...

  • Vuyo - 2012-01-16 13:31

    Are these people really church-going members , or tsotsis. Why are they caring guns .Which god are they praying to .

      ivan.coetzee2 - 2012-01-16 13:43

      Exactly rite Vuyo.

      madsipho - 2012-01-16 16:11

      @Vuyo, very good question>

  • Jeffrey - 2012-01-16 13:52

    Leave this faction fighting to the Shia's and Sunni's lads. You Christians are real amateurs compared to them.

  • Silvana - 2012-01-16 14:04

    LOL. Has April Fool's Day come early?

  • Prince Richard Khumalo - 2012-01-16 14:08

    Confused lot

  • Jay - 2012-01-16 14:49


  • Kagisho - 2012-01-16 15:01

    “All these are the beginning of sorrows. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” The Bible and the Bible only, gives us the correct view of these things. In it are revealed the great and final scenes of the history of our world. The events taking place today are a precursor to the final events which even by their approach cause the earth to tremble and men's hearts to fail them for fear. Behold, the Lord made the earth empty, and made it waste, and turned it upside down, and scattered abroad the inhabitants thereof. . . . They have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant.

  • elspeth.hassall - 2012-01-16 15:25

    I have business dealing with these people and find them to be honest, friendly and very personal about their religion & beliefs. If you are ignorant about the Nazareth Baptist Church, as ALL of you seem to be....keep your opinions to yourself. Thank you!

      elspeth.hassall - 2012-01-16 17:26

      Seems there are a lot of narrow mined people on this blog! What don't you like? That I do business with people who belong to the Shembe church? That I find them good people? Incidently their children are brought up to respect their elders, something that cannot be said for a lot of South African of all colours and creeds!

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