Shembe move into politics

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

A new political party, aligned with the Shembe Nazareth Church, is to be re-launched on a ticket to protect members from "people who are turning South Africa into Satan's den".

The party, the African Nazareth Democratic Movement (ANDM), was originally formed in 2003 by members of the Nazareth Baptist Church (Shembe). Now it has decided to open its membership to all Christians.

Its president, Thokozani Hlatshwayo, says they formed the party because they are dissatisfied with anti-Christian laws that have been passed.

He says, despite a public outcry, laws have been passed that legalise abortion and allow children as young as 12 to have sex and have an abortion without their parents, consent if they fall pregnant, .

When pressed to differentiate between themselves and other Christian political organisations such as the ACDP and Nadeco, Hlatshwayo says: "None of those parties represented the Shembe people and their needs. We felt excluded and that is why we decided to form the organisation."

The party registered with the IEC as a national political organisation in 2004 and it will be contesting national and provincial elections next year.