Thu Oct 27 07:19:33 SAST 2016

Shembe and black Catholics will unite

By unknown | Mar 09, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mvuyo Mati

Mvuyo Mati

The Shembe Nazareth Baptist Church in Johannesburg wants to join forces with the suspended Cape Town Roman Catholic priest Fano Ngcobo.

The outspoken priest is leading a breakaway group of black Catholics to form a Diocesan Black Catholics Movement after he was expelled from the church.

Ngcobo said the movement will be launched on Human Rights Day, March 21.

The Reverend Ebenezer Monyeki, of Shembe Church, said yesterday that he would lead a delegation to Cape Town next week for a meeting with Ngcobo.

Monyeki said he was instructed by the leader of the church, Inkosi Phakama Shembe, to initiate the meeting.

"He [Ngcobo] has agreed to meet us," Monyeki said.

He said that Shembe believes the formation of the movement proposed by the feisty Ngcobo was a good idea and that his church was interested in being part of it.

"[Ngcobo] has said lots of things we wanted to do.

"He is brave and truthful," Monyeki said of Ngcobo's stance against the church hierarchy.

Ngcobo, 35, who was suspended from his parish last year after clashing with what he called the "white racist leadership", said black Catholics were mobilising themselves.

Originally from Lamontville township in Durban, Ngcobo joined the Cape Town Diocese in 2003 as its first black priest.

He made headlines late last year when he publicly stated that being a priest did not mean he couldn't enjoy life.

Ngcobo was accused by diocese officials of abandoning his church house and renting a townhouse, being too close to women within the church and partying at nightclubs and shopping malls.

He was finally suspended as an ordained priest of the church after his refusal to relocate from Langa to a parish in Khayelitsha, and accusations that his behaviour was against the church's moral beliefs.

The feud between Ngcobo and the Archdiocese came to a head when he led a public protest against the church.

Ngcobo, who confirmed the proposed meeting with the Shembes, led a demonstration to highlight the "racist behaviour of the white" church leadership towards black Catholics in Langa.

Efforts to contact the Roman Catholic Church's hierarchy in Cape Town for comment yesterday proved fruitless.

Archbishop Henry was not available and Sowetan was referred to Father Andrew Borrello, who could not be reached.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT