CRL Commission: Conduct of religious leaders must be regulated

The CRL Rights Commission says that its investigations in 2016 revealed that the Seven Angels Ministries Church in Ngcobo was operating like a cult.

FILE: The houses belonging to the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministries Church. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The CRL Rights Commission is standing by its position that the conduct of religious leaders must be regulated.

This despite Parliament’s committee on Cooperative Governance saying that it would be unconstitutional to attempt to regulate people’s freedom to identify with a religion of their choice.

On Tuesday, the committee was briefed by the commission on the Seven Angels Ministries Church in Ngcobo, where an attack on a police station and a subsequent raid at the church left 13 people dead.

The commission slammed Parliament in the wake of the killings, saying that it failed to act on its warnings of more than two years ago.

The CRL Rights Commission says that its investigations in 2016 revealed that the Seven Angels Ministries Church in Ngcobo was operating like a cult.

Chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said: “The issue that the congregants were voluntarily there and not coerced, I think it’s a national crisis.”

But Cooperative Governance Minister Zweli Mkhize says it’s not Parliament’s responsibility to deal with the criminal issues.

“We must find a way to acknowledge the impact of the statement and the concerns of the Members of Parliament and then move on.”

The CRL Rights Commission says Parliament must legislate to allow for the interventions in situations like that at Ngcobo.