Church takes legal action against priests
Asks court to stop expelled priests ministering to congregations and accessing the church's bank account
THE Bantu Methodist Church of South Africa has turned to the Pretoria High Court to force two of its priests to stop ministering to its congregations and accessing the church's bank account.
The church also demands that the priests vacate its mission houses.
Reverends SZ Kotsele and LWM Xozwa were, respectively, president and secretary of the church's conference since 1995, but several charges were laid against them by the KwaZulu-Natal district in December 2009.
The charges included interference with the district, unconstitutional changing of the venue of the 2009 conference, ignoring requests for a meeting to discuss issues, failure to manage the office of the secretary and disregarding the church's constitution.
The church is asking the court to order Kotsele and Xozwa to cease conducting business as president and secretary of the conference, that they hand over the bank account of the church to the present executive and that they cease to minister to any of the church's congregations.
In an affidavit the church's new president, Reverend Mbulelwa Besane, says its deputy president wrote a letter to the priests in February 2010 to try to resolve the dispute amicably.
The church says Xozwa responded to the deputy president in an unconstitutional and disrespectful manner unbecoming of the office of the secretary of the conference.
The church requested a meeting to discuss the unconstitutional behaviour of the two priests but the two did not attend the meeting in March 2010.
The church subsequently decided to suspend the two.
In June 2010 the priests were expelled from the church.
They did not appeal the decision.
The church says despite their expulsion the priests are still "masquerading" as president and secretary of the conference.
The priests have yet to file court papers in reply.
The matter was postponed to an undetermined date.