Members ask NPA to step in

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Members of the Nazareth Baptist Church, known as Shembe, have asked the Scorpions to investigate if its leader, Vimbeni Shembe, was defrauding the church.

In documents in the possession of Sowetan and addressed to the NPA, representatives of the church make damning allegations against their leader.

The allegations include that he operates two separate identity documents with different names and ages.

They allege the IDs show he was born in 1933 and in 1956.

Both documents have been used "to acquire rights to certain things including the acquisition of the Ecclesiastical Endowment Trust of the Nazareth Baptist Church.

"He has also interchangeably used both identity numbers to secure immovable properties and bank loans," they added.

Another document sent to the NPA shows Shembe was excluded from the will of his late father Amos Shembe.

In his last will and testament Shembe senior had appointed Njengwezwi Phineas Ncwane to take over as the "minister of religion, director and leader of the church and [as a] trustee".

The members are requesting the NPA's help because they believe the allegations interfere with "free worship and general progress of the Church".

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali said they were considering the requests.

Official spokesman for the church, Chancy Sibisi, said the church was not aware of the allegations.