- KwaZulu-Natal Public Works MEC Neliswa Nkonyeni kicked off Day Two of a CRL Rights Commission probe into allegations of abuse at KwaSizabantu Mission.
- Nkonyeni said KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala had instructed her department and others to probe allegations levelled against KwaSizabantu.
- The probe will include Nkonyeni's department, and officials from the Department of Social Development and the premier's office.
KwaZulu-Natal Public Works MEC Neliswa Nkonyeni says her department is looking into several allegations against controversial church KwaSizabantu Mission, including the alleged operation of unregistered Early Childhood Development (ECD) and rehabilitation centres.
On Tuesday, the MEC kicked off her testimony on the second day of a CRL Rights Commission probe into allegations of abuse at the mission in Durban.
She said the mission existed for a number of years and added: "I can't hide the fact that people have been complaining over a period of time."
She said the government in KwaZulu-Natal had "developed an interest in investigating deeply" what happened at the mission.
"The honourable premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Premier [Sihle] Zikalala, has requested us to form part of a team that will be investigating what is happening there," Nkonyeni said.
The investigation will include the Social Development MEC because there seem to be unregistered ECD and rehabilitation centres at the mission, the commission heard.
They will work with the deputy director general in the Office of the Premier.
Nkonyeni said she was happy to hear about the commission's probe and suggested that they work together in their investigations.
"My advice to the commission is that it could be very important for us to meet with KwaSizabantu Mission so that we may have an idea of what is happening there."
Nkonyeni added that they had been informed that "harmful activities" took place at the mission's teacher training college and school.
She added that with the mission's various commercial arms, including aQuellé water, it would be important for them to understand what the mission looked like.
"We look even at the conditions of the facilities that are there," Nkonyeni said.
The commission's three-day probe was launched shortly after an extensive exposé by News24 which revealed allegations of sexual, physical and psychological abuse as well as alleged financial crimes.
Testimony as part of the CRL Rights Commission probe continues this week.
Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.