Families reunite with loved ones as Ngcobo church is temporarily closed

2018-02-27 06:15
Wilbarforce Zongezile Nobetha, whose brother left home almost 20 years ago with his wife and child to join Seven Angels Ministry, says he met his brother's children for the first time on Monday through social workers after the church became a crime scene (Daily Sun, Ziyanda Zweni)

Wilbarforce Zongezile Nobetha, whose brother left home almost 20 years ago with his wife and child to join Seven Angels Ministry, says he met his brother's children for the first time on Monday through social workers after the church became a crime scene (Daily Sun, Ziyanda Zweni)

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Ngcobo - The emerging collapse of the Seven Angels Ministry – linked to the murders of five police officers and one retired soldier in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape - has brought closure to some families, who have seen their long-lost loved ones return home.

The church made headlines at the weekend when seven people suspected of involvement in the murder of the police officers, were shot dead. Several young girls and women were rescued from the church, which was described by some as a cult.

Lucia Tshaba from Centane, another rural town about two hours away from Ngcobo, said she was experiencing a mixed bag of emotions about their return.

She was speaking ahead of a memorial service, which was expected to be held for the slain officers in Ngcobo on Tuesday.

Although she was happy to be reunited with her mother and sister, her brother was linked to the murders and remains in police custody.

"My mom called me in 2015, while I was at school and told me that she was selling our home. I… rushed home, when I got there she threw the keys at me and left with my sister.

"I tried calling her many times, but she rejected my calls and that hurt a lot," said Tshaba.

READ: Sad, confused teen in dock for Ngcobo massacre

She said her mother worked for the Department of Health at the time and gave away all her pension money to the church.

The ministry has been run by seven brothers – Xolisa, Thandazile, Banele, Philile, Phuthumile, Benjamin and Ephraim Mancoba – following the death of their father in 2015.

Tshaba said all her cards were kept by the brothers and added that the cards were used to buy food and toiletries for them.

"I am happy they are back home now and I will continue to pray for them and hopefully whatever is brainwashing them will die down," she added.

One elderly man, Wilbarforce Zongezile Nobetha, said his brother left home almost 20 years ago with his wife and child to join the controversial church.

"I tried to get him out of the church. He told me he was waiting for Jesus and instead, I should also join the church.

"I told him I would rather be a heathen than be a part of that church. What hurt me most is that he is my only brother and did not even attend our mother's funeral last December, and told me that he does not perform any rituals," Nobetha said.

He had come to the Ngcobo Magistrate's Court on Monday, hoping to get a chance to talk sense into his brother so that he could return home again.

"It is only today that I met his six children at a social worker office," a concerned Nobetha said.

Read more on:    ngcobo  |  crime  |  ngcobo massacre  |  religion

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