'I went to praise gOD but WAS CHAINED UP'

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

An angry advocate is demanding R2million in compensation from the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) after he was allegedly "treated like an animal" by its security personnel.

Mphafolane Koma of Mamone village in Limpopo said he went to Moria, the ZCC headquarters, near Polokwane on Good Friday as a pilgrim to worship with thousands of other church members.

But, Koma said, he was instead detained with "mentally disturbed people".

He told Sowetan yesterday that when he arrived at Moria on Friday, "fellow church members told me that some church members had been detained by security personnel and I was asked to find out why.

"But when I arrived there instead of being answered I, together with two other church members who accompanied me, was arrested and kept in a tiny shack for two days."

He said his wife and his four- year-old daughter searched for him while he was missing and had to spend two days without food because he had not given them any money before he was detained.

"When I asked to go to the toilet, I was chained by my hands and legs like a criminal and I had to parade in the presence of thousands of church members, some of whom were my clients," he said.

"I went to Moria to raise my voice in holy gladness to celebrate the victory of the risen Jesus Christ, but instead I was treated like an animal."

Koma, who wrote to the church after his release demanding a reason for his arrest, said the church " has now invited me to its headquarters next Tuesday so we can solve the matter amicably".

He said ZCC leaders this week apologised in writing, saying the security personnel had not worked "according to the church mandate".

"I have been a loyal member of this church for more than 26 years but I believe . many church members have been treated this way."

Koma said he had also referred the matter to the Human Rights Commission.

Alpheus Moshaba, ZCC's general secretary, would not comment when Sowetan contacted him.