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Shembe church leader Vimbeni dies

By Mhlaba Memela | Mar 29, 2011 | COMMENTS [ 110 ]

THE leader of the Nazareth Baptist Church, Inkosi Mbusi Vimbeni Shembe, died yesterday after a long illness.

Shembe had headed one of the four factions of the church since 1933.

Church leaders and family members did not reveal what Shembe had suffered from as his illness had been kept under wraps.

As his body was removed from the church's headquarters in Ebuhleni, Durban, to the mortuary, throngs of worshippers and the general public of Inanda, north of Durban, broke down and wept.

Despite rivalry between the church's Ebuhleni faction and the eKuphakameni faction under the leadership of Inkosi Vukile Shembe, Vukile's spokesperson Edward Ximba expressed sadness.

"We hope that church members will be able to handle the situation and seek God's divinity as they mourn the death of their leader," Ximba said.

According to the spokesperson, Vukile had also sent his condolences to worshippers at Ebuhleni.

"Yes, we have differences but were not enemies," Ximba added.

Vimbeni Shembe's faction of the church has more than one million followers, most of whom are Zulus.

The church has four factions, all claiming to be the legitimate leaders of the Shembe church.

The charismatic church, founded in 1910, is estimated to have assets of over R100million.

The four factions have taken each other to court over who is the legitimate heir to church founder prophet Isaiah Shembe.

Turmoil was sparked by the death of the prophet's successor, Bishop Galilee Shembe, in 1976.

Two factions surfaced - led by the bishop's brother Amos Shembe and the bishop's son Londa Shembe.

The church is now split into the Ebuhleni faction, which was led by Amos's son Vimbeni Shembe, regarded as the wealthiest and most powerful.

The others are the Ekuphakameni, led by Londa's son Vukile Shembe; Ginyezinye, led by the bishop's grandson Sizwe Shembe; and a Gauteng faction, led by another of the bishop's grandsons, Phakama Shembe.

COMMENTS [ 110 ]

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Remember Jesus said the world will not love you because it hated me first

Mar 29, 2011 9:4 | 0 replies

@galfrend-where are you?

Mar 29, 2011 10:3 | 0 replies

heloooooooooo: my pepisto

Mar 29, 2011 10:10 | 0 replies

"A Moya wa gago o robale ka kgotso Inkosi Mbusi Vimbeni Shembe, O robale le Modimo le Mangeloi a legodimo. "

You made my day.LMAO!

Mar 29, 2011 10:14 | 0 replies

"1 of the biggest indigenous church.TRUE AFRICAN RELIGION....not masepa abazalwane"

Excuse me please.........

Mar 29, 2011 10:28 | 0 replies

May Baba Shembe's soul Rest In Peace. God gives and takes. "Church matters are not settled in the Court of Law but in the Heavely realm". Seek advice from a Prominent Church that was found in almost the same time as yours and your church disputes will be solved.

Mar 29, 2011 10:30 | 0 replies

hey gal r u fine long time heh o sharp mar

Mar 29, 2011 10:42 | 0 replies

Fighting must stop now. Please select another Jesus.

Mar 29, 2011 10:42 | 0 replies

@ pediboy3
ke sharp dear. where are you hiding these days?

Mar 29, 2011 10:44 | 0 replies

The shembes will learn the truth cause there is only only ONE GOD not gods that are made by hands and vaseline like theirs

Mar 29, 2011 10:56 | 0 replies

The shembes will learn the truth cause there is only only ONE GOD not gods that are made by hands and vaseline like theirs
Do you think they'll ever learn? They believe in subtituting gods like zcc and modise

Mar 29, 2011 11:7 | 0 replies