Congregation protests over priest's recall

13 January 2020 - 08:25
By Tankiso Makhetha
Congregation protests over priest's recall.
Image: 123RF/stevanovicigor Congregation protests over priest's recall.

There was chaos outside St James Methodist Church in Vosloorus on the East Rand yesterday when about 50 congregants locked gates and refused a new priest access.

Church members said they barred fellow church members from entering because they wanted their former priest reinstated to his old position to lead the church.

According to Simphiwe Mtshali, a member of the church, Rev Mlungisi Zwane was removed from his position as leader of the church without an explanation.

"The circuit just informed us that they were removing Rev Zwane and didn't tell us why. This upset us because Rev Zwane has been a good leader and the circuit had no reason to remove him. They should not have," he said.

Mtshali said the new priest, Rev Smart Matsepe, was not wanted by the congregants because they were happy with Zwane.

Rev Shirley Matshaka, the East Rand circuit superintendent, said she would not comment about internal church matters on a public platform.

Congregants locked the gate and placed placards which read "No Rev Zwane, no induction" outside the church.

Another congregant, Moses Khumalo, said they did not have anything against Matsepe, but they were happy with Zwane's leadership.

"We don't have a problem with Matsepe. He seems like a good leader and I am sure he is but we are happy with our leader. There haven't been any scandals of him misappropriating funds or being a part of a particular faction in the church.

"He has always been fair and that's why we don't want him to leave," Khumalo said.