Chevron, leaders condemn oil-drinking pastor
CHEVRON South Africa has condemned the actions of Daveyton-based pastor Bongani Maseko, who recently made his congregants at the Breath of Christ Ministries drink engine-cleaning fluid, saying it has healing properties.
In a statement, Chevron said it was important that people read the labels on products and use it accordingly.
“All Caltex engine oil products have warning labels which advocate responsible use and caution users to keep these products out of the reach of children,” the company stated.
“Consumers are clearly advised that these products are flammable and not safe for consumption purposes.”
The Star has seen images of Maseko making his congregants drink engine fluid during a church service last week.
The Mahikeng Ministers Fellowship, an organisation that represents 320 religious leaders in North West, has condemned Maseko’s actions.
The group’s spokesperson, Pastor Lesiba Kgwele, said it was important that religious leaders realised that churches weren’t above the country’s laws.
“The church needs to realise that the country has laws and the church must function while respecting these laws. We cannot be engaged in activities that violate the rights of our congregants and our ethical duties,” Kgwele said.
He added the organisation would be meeting this weekend with delegates from the Free State, Northern Cape, Gauteng and Limpopo to finalise their input to the Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Religious, Cultural and Linguistic Communities’ preliminary report on the commercialisation of religion.
The report, titled “CRL Rights Commission’s preliminary report of the hearings on commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems”, looks into issues regarding the financial accountability of churches, the promotion of activities that violate the rights of congregants, as well as activities that bring religious institutions into disrepute.
“We are going to have about 1 000 delegates at this provincial consultative meeting. The aim is to finalise our views as interdenominational religious leaders and to speak as one voice, because if the church does not stand up, we’ll find ourselves outlawed by this report and the hate crimes bill,” Kgwele said.
He said Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development John Jeffery would be the keynote speaker at the event and would engage with those in attendance on the objective of the draft Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, which church leaders are concerned might declare quoting of certain Bible verses unlawful.