LETTER TO THE EDITOR | KwaSizabantu Mission: Their goose is cooked

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KwaSizabantu-MissionPHOTO: NEWS24
KwaSizabantu-MissionPHOTO: NEWS24

Günther Andrich disagrees with Dr Peet Botha that a TRC-like process will assist in restoring KwaSizabantu Mission following recent allegations that have emerged.

The article, 'A TRC is needed at KwaSizabantu Mission', by Peet Botha refers.

I am a South African/German, living quite far away, but I cannot mind my own business with this! I do not agree with Botha that KwaSizabantu Mission (KSB) can be "saved and preserved", nor do I feel that a TRC-type process with "reformative and restorative policies" would be appropriate.

Granted, as has been said, good and evil run on parallel tracks and often arrive together. And yes, good has been experienced at KSB, as my wife can tell you after spending a couple of months there as a visitor in the mid 1980s. Those who passed through briefly have good stories, many who stayed or grew up there have frightful tales of woe.

Research by ex KSB leaders, like Albert Pilon (Is this a Genuine Revival, 2016), suggests that the original formation of KSB does not arise from legitimate and authentic Christian ministry as represented by KSB's statement of faith, books and marketing campaigns. Leaders, like Koos Greef and Trevor Dahl, had to get out of KSB to find legitimacy in their Christian ministries.

The TRC was needed to take a step in the right direction to heal the deep damage done by colonialism and apartheid across a nation.

The victims of the damage done to them by KSB, albeit a huge cohort, are victims of heinous crimes committed against them in their own local communities. They do not need to make public statements, but private ones to the police and law courts. They do not need apologies from their perpetrators, they need justice - retributive and restitutive.

The evidence of guilt, even out of court, is so overwhelming, quite frankly, there is not much left of the KSB name that merits saving.

Those who try to germinate cults in fertile soil in the future in South Africa need to know they will never get away with such crimes, let alone such syndicates - no matter how hard they try to get police and politicians into their pockets.

As a Christian, I am deeply ashamed that church bodies were not able to get justice for the victims of KSB 20 years ago, when the same reports were surfacing in the public realm as now.

KSB businesses, like aQuelle, can be attached, auctioned, rebranded with the existing workforce intact, can't they?

In view of the "missing millions", could the farms of those implicated and jailed be of value as assets in the process of reparations?

At least, there can be a better guarantee that workers will not be exploited the way they have been there. 

After nights of weeping, may joy come in the morning! 

Rev Günther Andrich, Irvinestown, Northern Ireland

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