North West church leaders vow to fight rights commission

2016-12-15 06:05
‘Prophet’ Lethebo Rabalago has claimed that using Doom insecticide on people heals them of their illnesses.

‘Prophet’ Lethebo Rabalago has claimed that using Doom insecticide on people heals them of their illnesses.

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Johannesburg – A group of North West church leaders on Wednesday vowed to challenge a report into the commercialisation of religion when it’s released next year.

The outcome of an investigation into the matter would have far-reaching implications and curtail the religious freedoms that Christians currently enjoyed, chairperson of the Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship (MMF), apostle Zandisile Mpame, said in a statement.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities is currently holding hearings as part of its probe into the commercialisation of religion. It is expected to release its findings in February.

“We are resolute to confront attempts to determine where, how, as well as by whom, the message of salvation is preached and what relationships local churches must have with the universal body of Christ,” Mpame said.

Efforts to oversee church affairs and license practitioners were ill-conceived and amounted to state control.

All the commission had to do was execute its mandate, which was to promote peaceful coexistence between religious, cultural and linguistic groups in the country, he said.

The commission is investigating the commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people's beliefs and has summoned several religious organisations to appear before it.

All those summoned to its hearings are required to produce their ordination certificate, church registration certificate, bank statements and annual financial statements dating from 2012. Some have refused to do so.

The investigation was prompted by several self-styled “prophets” making their followers drink petrol, eat grass, live snakes, rats, get jumped on or driven over with a car. In the most recent case, Lethebo Rabalago, 24, of Zebediela in Limpopo, sprayed the insecticide Doom into the faces of his congregants, apparently to “heal” them.


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