New evidence in Shembe trial

2012-03-19 14:26

Durban - A court case involving two feuding factions of the Nazareth Baptist Church, also known as the Shembe Church, was delayed in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court on Monday.

"New evidence was presented to us and we need a chance to consider," Archie Findlay SC, acting for one of the two camps, told the court.

The Shembe 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.

Shashi Marajh, for Mduduzi Shembe, said the late leader's attorney Dustan Farrell had provided important documents that would affect the testimony of the Shembe Church's general secretary Chance Sibisi.

In December, Sibisi told the court Vimbeni's wife Ndlunkulu KaMaseko knew the name of the person her husband had nominated to lead the church.

Sibisi testified that she had told him: "The letter that was delivered to attorney Zwelabantu Buthelezi on March 16 holds the name of the leader. I will say it with great respect, it's Vela Shembe."

Sibisi joined the church in 1959. He had been its general secretary since 1985.

In his testimony, he said Vimbeni had trusted him as he gave him the power of attorney to handle church matters in his absence.

Findlay, who acts for Vela Shembe, did not elaborate on the nature of the new evidence he wished to consider.

The case continues on Tuesday.

  • Arp Liebenberg - 2012-03-19 17:02

    Jesus alone should be the head of the church, all the others must be servants meaning they should serve one another! If they cannot do that then their religion is false. I bet there is money involved. People please serve God and do not be involved with factions in the church, it is of no use and will NOT get you to heaven!

      Zakhele Msinga - 2012-04-03 12:35

      Where ever there it a word of God, evil & demons will always come to party.

  • Donald - 2012-03-19 17:45

    The answer is simple, form a section 21 company NPO company and put the assets in that, then see who wants to be the leader. This is like King Solomon's answer to the two woman fighting over the baby.

  • Gary - 2012-03-19 19:08

    who cares? mxmm!!

  • Bonginkosi - 2012-03-28 12:43

    I think the court should use the evidence from the dvd that was played last year where MV Shembe was speaking telling all members of the congragation that some 1 z planning to remove Him.

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