Commission calls for religious leader regulation

The CRL Rights Commission says the religious sector must be regulated and operate within the law.

FILE: A screengrab showing Prophet Rufus Phala giving one of his church members Dettol. Picture: Facebook.com.

JOHANNESBURG - The CRL Rights Commission has recommended that all religious practitioners operating in South Africa either be registered or face prosecution.

The commission has released its report into the commercialisation of religion and abuse of belief systems.

Several pastors have made headlines in recent months for using dangerous methods, such as spraying doom on congregants.

The CRL Rights Commission says the religious sector must be regulated and operate within the law.

Chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said, “You will not be allowed to operate in this country unless we know where you are, what you are doing and who you are.”

She says umbrella organisations must also be established in order to monitor the conduct of religious leaders and institutions.

“Every worship centre and practitioner must be registered with an umbrellas organisation.”

The commission has found that a number of religious leaders in the country are unregistered, use cult-like practices and flout banking rules.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says the Home Affairs Department doesn’t have an effective system to manage foreign religious leaders coming into the country.

She says the department needs to urgently address the problem.

The CRL Commission has also found the police are reluctant to act against religious leaders.

Meanwhile, Paseka ‘Pastor Mbhoro’ Motsoeneng says government is to blame for failing to subsidise churches.

“The government is not subsiding pastors.”

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)