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CRL Commission accuses Msimanga of bringing Bushiri's church into disrepute

The commission is expected to release a report on Thursday into what led to the deaths of three people at Pastor Shepherd Bushiri’s church.

Tshwane Mayor and DA Gauteng Premier candidate Solly Msimanga announces his resignation on 18 January. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

BRAAMFONTEIN - The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) says that outgoing Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga had brought controversial Pastor Shepherd Bushiri’s church into disrepute when he said the church had failed to adhere to safety standards.

The commission says that Msimanga should have taken up the safety issue directly with the management of the Tshwane events centre and not the church, Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, who are the tenants.

Msimanga appeared before the commission on Tuesday to clarify the question of whether the church had complied with the necessary safety regulations or not.

This comes after the death three people during a stampede at the church in 2018.

Msimanga argued at length with the chairperson of the commission, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, on why he rushed to publish a report implicating the church of noncompliance.

“When you were under pressure you sought to throw someone under the bus and the church with thousands of congregates. Our interests are in the people who go to church and not Bushiri,” Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.

The city issued two contradicting statements, with the mayor, on one hand, saying the church had not complied on several issues, while the Department of Emergency Services maintains that the church had passed a safety test.

Bushiri testified on Monday that the church had adhered to all safety standards and was surprised to learn that the mayor had issued a statement to the contrary.

The commission is expected to release a report on Thursday into what led to the deaths of three people at Bushiri’s church.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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