'ZCC head is my father'

Cecil Motsepe

Cecil Motsepe

As millions of the Zion Christian Church faithful prepare for the long trek home from the Easter pilgrimage to Moria, Limpopo, one man is gearing for a long legal battle with the ZCC church leader Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane.

The man - who calls himself Tshepo Barnabas Edward Lekganyane Junior - claims the world-renowned bishop is his father and is suing him for a hefty R50000 in monthly maintenance.

Lekganyane Junior, who lives in Orange Farm, sputh of Johannesburg, has claimed his paternal link to the bishop and approached the Johannesburg Family Court a week ago.

A source told Sowetan that the court's senior magistrate Daniel Thulare has issued a summons ordering the head of Africa's biggest church to appear before him next month.

When interviewed about the case, Thulare said: "We collect maintenance without fear or favour. It does not matter who you are."

Sowetan visited Lekganyane Junior's home, where startling revelations were made. His mother, Amelia Lerata said she knew nothing of the pending maintenance case.

She said her son could be "mentally unstable". When we asked to speak to him she said: "You will not be able to talk to him because he has been in jail for two weeks. His girlfriend had him arrested for rape."

Lerata confirmed that her son once travelled to Moria where he demanded to see "his father".

"He caused chaos and told security personnel to let him in because Lekganyane was his father.

"The next day Lekganyane sent a delegation to my house to tell me that my son has been banned from the church."

Bishop Lekganyane could not be reached for comment.

A family friend told Sowetan: "The girlfriend had him arrested for rape because he has been promising to marry her for a long time.

"He has been telling her that they will have a lot of money soon since he was the son of Lekganyane.

"The woman finally got fed up when she realised that he had been stringing her along."