Qunu: Clergy locked out because of pics

2013-06-16 21:17

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Johannesburg - A delegation of Christians was turned away from former president Nelson Mandela's Qunu, Eastern Cape, home on Sunday because they were taking photographs after being warned not to, police said.

"They were taking some photos [outside the house] after they were informed not to take any," Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said.

Two policemen turned away the missionaries, from the Reformed Church of Christ and the Apostolic Faith Mission, when they arrived at the Mandela house, to offer their prayers and support.

A Sapa correspondent reported that two members of the group, while attempting to take pictures of themselves outside the house, were temporarily arrested and held inside a security room at the gate. This resulted in a heated exchange between the group and the police.

"It was not a big issue, there were no arrests," Fatyela said.

Apostolic Faith Mission women’s leader Nomzingisi Jonga, 44, said they went to the gate wanting to know why the two were arrested.

“We came here because we had a prophecy at our night vigil yesterday [Saturday], to... pray for Madiba in his grounds. Now we are being denied access and also we were told not to pray in front of his gate.

“I wish I could share with you the prophecy, but now it is only God who knows. Let His will be done,” said Jonga.

The group then crossed the N2 Transkei road, to pray in public. Thambisa Nomatshitshi, 21, said she was disappointed at how the police treated them.

“You cannot just arrest us because we are praying for Mandela, it's wrong... we did nothing wrong,” she said.

One police officer accused the group of betraying the freedom Mandela fought for.

Read more on:    nelson mandela  |  east london

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