Senior Shembe leaders face attempted murder rap

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Senior leaders of the Ebuhleni faction of the embattled Shembe Nazareth Church could face arrest for the attempted murder of a 16-year-old boy.

The leaders had been embroiled in infighting for positions in the church.

This resulted in other church leaders being chased out of the church headquarters in Inanda, north of Durban.

Their houses, amadokodo, were also vandalised and set alight in the week leading to the 100km walk to the holy mountain of Inhlangakazi.

A grandson of senior evangelist Mandlenkosi Zwane escaped death when a known evangelist allegedly orchestrated a gun attack against him.

The teenager is in hiding following the attack against him on the church premises.

A highly-placed source in the church told Sowetan the boy had to run for his life after the evangelist pointed him out to an alleged hitman last week.

"The boy ran for his life with the alleged hitman in hot pursuit," the source said.

The incident was apparently witnessed by a police officer who is also a church member.

Church members said that the policeman came out with his firearm after hearing several shots being fired.

When the alleged hitman realised that a policeman was around, he turned back and retreated.

Five senior pastors have left the church after their houses were set on fire.

The teenager said: "I was pointed out by the evangelist to a man who then fired at me while I went to collect my grandfather's belongings on the church premises."

He said the hitman had chased him out of the church premises with a gun while people were watching.

The boy had been working in the church after his parents died. He said some church members had advised him not to open an attempted murder case.