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Lack of clear succession plan led to Zuurbekom IPHC church attack – CLR Rights Commission

The International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) .
The International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) .
Image: Thulani Mbele

Church leaders ought to have a proper succession plan in order to prevent conflict when they die.

This is the view of David Mosoma, the chairperson of the CRL rights commission following his meeting with the warring factions at the International Pentecostal Holiness Church.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities held the mediation process on July 22, 23 and 24 following the killing of five people at the church’s headquarters in Zuurbekom two weeks ago.

Mosoma said the commission established that the problems at the church were caused by the succession battle, power, assets and finances of the church.

“It became clear to the CRL Rights Commission that the lack of a clear succession plan in the church is one of the main contributing factors of the conflict. This gap is not confined to this church, but has affected various other churches and bodies of worship resulting in the country seeing various court battles over succession like in other churches.

The Commission is of the opinion that there is a need for a Guide on the succession plan in the religious sector and will be developing such guidelines, in consultation with the broader church, to resolve this issue,” Mosoma said.

He said the mediation was aimed at getting to the core of the concerns among the parties, advise on how these can be addressed and arrive at a consensus that would build co-existence among them.

However, Mosoma lamented that one of the parties, Tshepiso Modise, did not attend as he felt that he was not party to the conflict at hand. 

During the mediation, the commission made the parties aware that they need to find a workable solution as the church is supposed to be a “sacred and safe environment for the congregants to practise their right of religious freedom. In response thereto, the groups came up with the following resolution”.