Thousands assemble at Moria

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

The Limpopo village of Boyne, Polokwane, is expected to be chaotic, starting from tonight, as hundreds of thousands of St Engenas Zion Christian Church members congregate for their annual September gathering.

Church members from all over the country and southern Africa are expected to converge on Moria to listen to the year-end message from their leader, Engenas Lekganyane.

The St Engenas ZCC is situated just one kilometre from Barnabas Lekganyane ZCC.

Until 1948, both were one church under founder, Engenas Lekganyane.

Reports say before his death in 1948, Lekganyane appointed his son and anointed heir, Joseph, to succeed him as the leader of the church. But Joseph's older brother, Edward, apparently contested this with the help of some church members because, according to Bapedi traditional custom, the eldest son succeeds his father.

It is reported that Joseph's prominence in the church developed when he became his father's personal driver. This position brought him closer to various church leaders and the inner working circle of the ZCC.

After his father's death, Joseph claimed leadership of the church. However, his brother Edward disputed his claim after his return from the then Natal where he worked.

This caused serious conflict between the brothers. This led to the split in the church - the ZCC (Dove) was headed by Joseph, with its stronghold in the rural areas; and Edward's ZCC (Star) with its stronghold in the urban areas.

In honour of his father and founder of the ZCC, Joseph changed the name of the church to St Engenas ZCC and added the symbol of a dove to the ZCC badge. Joseph died in 1965 after a serious illness. Prior to his death, he appointed his second son, Engenas Joseph Lekganyane as successor. He became a bishop in 1975.