March­ing against pas­tors

The pur­pose of the protest was to get rid of what the group call term ‘dodgy prophets’

Afro Voice (National Edition) - - NEWS - DIKELEDI MOLOBELA AND NTOMBI NKOSI news@the­newage.co.za

DE­SPITE a court in­ter­dict by con­tro­ver­sial pas­tor Shep­herd Bushiri, a group of peo­ple who claim to be vic­tims of “dodgy pas­tors” marched in Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

Un­der the theme Speak The Truth, the march dom­i­nated mostly by fe­males was led by or­gan­iser Solom Ashoms who handed over a mem­o­ran­dum to a CRL Rights Com­mis­sion chair­per­son Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.

Ashoms said the pur­pose of the march was to get rid of what he termed false prophets all over the coun­try.

Tiniyiko Masemola, who claims to have been a vic­tim of a fake pas­tor, said she joined the march be­cause she now un­der­stands how the false prophets op­er­ate.

“When you are un­em­ployed, sick and hav­ing mar­i­tal prob­lems you re­sort to want­ing a mi­crowave so­lu­tion and you get re­fer­rals to visit sev­eral prophets to get rid of your prob­lems. But when you are there, an­swers are one thing you can never get.

“These pas­tors ask us for money which we do not have. One false prophet made me buy his oils con­vinc­ing me that they will re­verse the spir­i­tual bondage I was in. He ma­nip­u­lated me spir­i­tu­ally and I be­came ob­sessed with go­ing from one pas­tor to an­other.

“This also made me have a bad re­la­tion­ship with God.

“This pas­tor ended up mov­ing into my home and he wanted to start a church, he even got to my par­ents and peo­ple would come and con­sult at home, I kind of be­came a wife to him as­sist­ing in prayer,” she said.

Masemola said at the time she was mar­ried but the pas­tor told her to di­vorce her hus­band in or­der to be de­liv­ered. An­to­nio Martins who claimed to be a vic­tim of a pop­u­lar Pre­to­ria prophet’s prophecy said he had three pend­ing cases that he opened against the prophet.

The marchers’ at­tor­ney, El­liot Buthani, said there were many vic­tims but they were afraid to come out be­cause they were be­ing threat­ened.

He said one of the women re­ported that a cer­tain bishop called her to ac­com­pany him to a mall and when they came back the man said he was horny and wanted to sleep with her, now the woman is preg­nant.

He said the Hawks were also aware that some of these pas­tors are in­volved in money laun­der­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in­side and out­side of South Africa.

When re­ceiv­ing the mem­o­ran­dum Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said: “We kept on say­ing there is some­thing wrong hap­pen­ing here and the re­sponse has al­ways been there is free­dom of re­li­gion.

“We are say­ing what is in the mem­o­ran­dum to­day is where lim­i­ta­tion starts, where you have gone be­yond the doc­trine.”

A woman from Klerks­dorp, North West told The New Age that she was raped by a pas­tor (known to The New Age) whom her hus­band called his spir­i­tual fa­ther.

“The pas­tor bought me clothes, he came to my house to give them to me, I was happy. He asked me to try them on to see if it fits well, I went to my be­d­room, took off my jeans and the pas­tor walked in, I was un­com­fort­able, he then raped me,” the vic­tim said.

She said at first she did not tell her hus­band and when the child was born she told him and he stood by her.

A case of rape was opened and in­ves­ti­gated and the prophet was found guilty, but was never sen­tenced be­cause he had con­tacts in high places, she said.

“I was raped by my prophet whom I have known and served for many years, de­spite my hus­band be­ing his spir­i­tual son and I, his spir­i­tual daugh­ter. To­day, I am the mother of a 12 year old child, a prod­uct of rape. I trusted him,” she said.

PIC­TURE: THAPELO MOREBUDI

DODGY PAS­TORS: The speak the Truth group marched to the CRL Rights Com­mis­sion to de­liver a mem­o­ran­dum of sup­port on the find­ings of the in­ves­ti­ga­tions on so­called churches.

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