High Court: Religion commission must hold hearings in public

The commission said coverage would stop complainants from testifying against religious leaders properly.

CRL Chair Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva briefing the media. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Lawyers for the Sowetan newspaper say the high court has ordered the Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities to hold its hearings into religion in the open.

The commission had refused to allow people into the hearings, saying that any media coverage would stop complainants from testifying against religious leaders properly.

But religious leaders have complained that the claims against them are being made in public and so they should testify in public.

They also say the commission should not have subpoenaed them.

Attorney Otrabia Mpofu-Anti says the commission didn't oppose their application.

"The court agreed with our agreement that this matter is clearly a matter of manifest and public interest given the nature of the serious allegations that have been made against some religious leaders."