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CRL Rights Commission accused by some religious leaders of going beyond mandate

On Wednesday, the watchdog convened a summit with religious leaders from across the country at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg to find ways of tackling problems facing the sector.

FILE: The CRL Rights Commission. Picture: Thando Kubheka/EWN

RANDBURG - Some religious leaders have accused the CRL Rights Commission of going beyond its mandate.

On Wednesday, the watchdog convened a summit with religious leaders from across the country at the Rhema Bible Church in Randburg.

Several pastors have made headlines over the past few years for using controversial methods like spraying churchgoers with pesticides.

Recently, Pastor Shepherd Bushiri and his wife were arrested for fraud and money laundering.

The conference, which was the first of its kind, brought together religious leaders from across the country to find ways of tackling problems facing the sector.

Issues that were top of the agenda included charting a self-regulatory framework which left the heads of faith-based organisations divided.

They claimed the commission’s process of compiling its report on regulation of religion and abuse of people's beliefs was flawed and non-inclusive.

However, commission chair Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva disagreed: “We hear people say they did not consult with them because we didn’t change the report to say what they wanted it to say.”

Religious leaders have resolved to begin their work of constructing their own regulatory framework next month before convening a national consultative conference in October.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)