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Gigaba's fury at 'denial of birthright' by Engcobo Church

Banele Mancoba of Angels Ministries.
Banele Mancoba of Angels Ministries.
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has expressed his "dismay at the wanton disregard of the law" and "injustice" following allegations that members of the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministry in Engcobo were forbidden to have identity documents while children were not allowed to have birth certificates and prohibited from attending school.

He declared that "government will not watch on the sidelines while people’s constitutional rights were being trampled on by those who sought to exploit vulnerable members of the society".

Gigaba announced that the home affairs department had issued a directive to its provincial office to visit the area and to initiate an audit of the church members' paperwork‚ "with a view to begin the process of documenting them to ensure that they reflect on the National Population Register".

The Constitution states that no citizen may be deprived of citizenship and guarantees the right to a name and a nationality for every child from birth.

Gigaba's office said in a statement: "To this end‚ without a birth certificate‚ any individual’s nationality cannot be affirmed‚ thus rendering them stateless."

“Of particular concern to me‚ is the exploitation of children and women whose rights have been blatantly disregarded by being denied their basic right; their sense of belonging; their birthright to identity‚" said Gigaba.

"No individual has the authority to deny any citizen of our Republic their Constitutional right to identity through the imposition of their irrational beliefs."

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