‘Fake pastors must go find other jobs’ - Mkhwanazi-Xaluva

Thoko Mkhwanazi- Xaluva is the chairwoman of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CLR).
Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva Thoko Mkhwanazi- Xaluva is the chairwoman of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CLR).
Image: VELI NHLAPO/Sowetan

The law must be used to assist fake pastors and false prophets to follow different careers and get jobs outside the churches, said CRL commission chair Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva on Wednesday.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva was speaking as she accepted a memorandum from the #FakePastorsMustFall movement at the commission’s head office in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

The group marched against so called pastors and prophets who abuse their powers.

"All these fake prophets must be helped through legislation to walk away and find other jobs," said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.

"This is not a place for them. There are many careers they can choose from but this is not where it should be."

The march organisers said that they took a serious issue with these pastors who claim to be healers who can perform miracles.

Prophet Shepherd Bushiri - who succeeded in his urgent court interdict to prevent the use of his name and pictures in the march - was one of the prophets named during march despite the interdict.

"We have pastors that stop people from going to hospitals and give them water which they say is anointed. People are dying. We have victims of HIV that are not able to take their ARV's because these pastors are lying to them that they can heal HIV," said one of the organisers Martins Antonio.

Antonio told Mkhwanazi-Xaluva that his life is at risk since taking up the fight against the false prophets.

"My house is destroyed because of the pastors. I cannot even walk free in the street because they are getting people to threaten my life.”

Antonio and Mkhwanazi-Xaluva both said that the pastors are known for targeting women.

"There's an issue around the rights of women that is happening in these churches. The majority of people who are in these churches are women. It's not by accident; women are being targeted deliberately to impoverish us even further,” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.

She also said that some of the fake pastors have gone beyond the doctrine and are in a business that cannot be recognised as any religion. She also called for people to take a stance against such pastors.

“I think one thing we must accept as a nation is that it’s time for a revolution. It's time for us to say 'it stops here and it goes no further'. We've been preaching this gospel since 2015. We kept on saying there's something extremely wrong happening here. A response has always been, 'there's freedom of religion', we have said, every right in the Constitution has limitations," she said.

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