Church factions exchange blows for seat inside court room

2015-07-28 07:00

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Johannesburg - Members of two factions of the Shembe church exchanged blows outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Monday, over who could enter the courtroom to attend a hearing, eNCA reported.

In a video recorded outside the courtroom, members of the church are seen fighting one another. They then stand at what appears to be one of the entrances into the courts, forcefully removing a police officer standing guard at the door.

The men continue to fight among themselves and what appears to be a liquid is sprayed at one group, by the other.

The church has been embroiled in a leadership battle since the death of Vimbeni Shembe, who was the leader of the largest faction. Last year, the court heard that, according to a will, Vimbeni chose his cousin Vela Shembe as his successor.

However, some senior leaders of the church wanted Vimbeni's son Mduduzi to take the reins. After failing to convince the church's elders that Vimbeni had nominated him, Vela took the matter to court in 2012.

According to the SABC, members of one faction was making its way to court in a peaceful march on Monday morning when it came across the other faction. Chaos then began outside the court.

The church is known to be among the richest in Africa with assets worth hundreds of millions. These assets would remain frozen until the leadership dispute was resolved, SABC reported.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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