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