DA says church should probe Bishop Verryn
THE METHODIST Church should investigate whether Bishop Paul Verryn was running a cult at the Johannesburg Central church, he Democratic Alliance said yesterday.
Spokesman Jack Bloom said this following reports by NGOs that Verryn was turning down offers of shelter for the Zimbabweans living at the church, and his subsequent failure to attend the province’s health and social development portfolio committee meeting yesterday morning to answer to the claims.
The Gauteng Legislature’s portfolio committee had called Verryn and NGOs to a meeting so he could answer to the claims.
“Allegations were again made by NGOs at the meeting that children were being prevented from moving from the church. It’s a great pity that he was not there to answer these allegations.
“Verryn’s superiors in the Methodist Church need to seriously investigate whether he has built up a cult following at the church and how this affects attempts to relocate the refugees,” said Bloom.
He said Verryn’s conduct was “unacceptable”, adding that he could have at least notified committee chairwoman Molebatsi Bopape on time. But Verryn disputed claims that the church was preventing children from moving from the church and that he was ducking the portfolio committee.
On his failure to attend the meeting, Verryn said the meeting started 45 minutes late and he had to leave early because of a long-standing appointment.
“I explained that it was awkward as I received the invitation only on Wednesday... and explained that I had an important meeting to go to,” he said, adding that there was a political agenda behind the claims.
Bopape said the committee would write another letter to Verryn in order to afford him time to address the committee and answer their questions. –Sapa
UNDER FIRE: Methodist Bishop Paul Verryn.