Church coughs up cow for beef with local chief

2015-10-02 14:48
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

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Durban - The Nazareth church in Eshowe, northern KwaZulu-Natal, is fuming after it was again told by a local chief to stop congregating.

Inkosi Busisiwe Mpungose has allegedly banned more than 1 000 members of the Zazi Temple from going to church on Saturday.

The church claims Mpungose was targeting it because it spoke to the media last month about tensions between the church and the local indunas.

News24 reported Mpungose wrote a letter to Shembe leader Mduduzi ‘Nyazi lweZulu Shembe, but administrative reasons prevented Shembe from receiving it.

This apparently so angered Mpungose she issued a directive ordering those who belong to the Shembe church to stop going to the 13 temples. 

Fined with a cow

The church, with about 5 000 people in the area, was fined with a cow for allegedly being disrespectful.

A source who belongs to the Zazi temple and asked not to be named, said he received a phone call from a local induna Bhenu Xulu who informed him Mpungose had ordered Nazareths not to gather.

“The last time she did this she made us buy a cow and, when we bought the cow, she refused to accept it. We were told she refused to accept the cow after she found out we went to the media.

“This makes us angry, because we can’t go to church tomorrow.”

The man said he called other church leaders to find out if they knew about the directive.

“All the other temples said they hadn’t received the directive, so this means she is punishing us for exposing what is happening in the media.

“She is punishing the Zazi temple. It is not fair,” the man said.

‘I am going to church’

Another church member said he was going to defy the chief’s orders.

The man, who also asked not to be named said: “No one has a right to tell anyone they are not allowed to go to church. I am going to go to church and pray tomorrow and see what happens.”

The man said he was mobilising other members to join him on Saturday.

“It is very sad, because here in the rural areas, people respect the chief and the indunas, even when they are wrong and that is not fair,” he said. 

Mpungose denied issuing such a directive.

“People must stop creating stories about tensions in the area when there are none. If the church has issues then they must sort them out without involving me.”

She said the matter was not raised during Tuesday’s tribal court.

“I haven’t heard about this matter since the last time it came to court. The church must stop misusing my name in the media... I would never issue such a directive,” she said.

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