Chevron, lead­ers con­demn oil-drink­ing pas­tor

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MASEGO PANYANE masego.panyane@inl.co.za

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.

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