New IPHC 'comforter' rejects DNA test to back claim he's Modise

Michael Sandlana has been appointed IPHC church leader .
Michael Sandlana has been appointed IPHC church leader .

The late International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) leader Bishop Glayton Modise's eternal rest might be disturbed in his eternal sleep as the disputes relating to the millions he left behind rages on.

The executors of his multimillion rand estate recently demanded, in a legal letter, that one of his alleged love children undergo a paternity test to prove he was indeed an heir to the throne.

The legal tussle follows the revelation that Modise, who was known as The Comforter to the church's 3-million congregants, did not leave behind a valid will at the time of his death in February 2016.

That means that his estate will be divided according to the law, which provides that only his wife and children may inherit his estate, believed to be worth almost R400m.

Mpoyana Ledwaba Inc, lawyers representing the executors of Modise's estate, wrote a letter to Michael Sandlana, one of the contenders in the power struggle for control of the IPHC church, requesting him to avail himself for a medical test. According to the letter seen by Sunday World and dated November 27 2018, the executors said this was because they learnt that he had told one of the church's branches that he was the son of the late clergyman.

"It has come to the attention of the executors that you have informed the IPHC congregation that you are the biological child of the late comforter MG Modise.

"Our instructions are that a draft liquidation and distribution account is ready for submission to the master of the high court. In light of the allegations... you are hereby requested to confirm if the allegations are indeed true.

"The allegations will affect the draft and distribution account. In the event the allegations aforementioned are true, you are called upon to submit yourself to a paternity test within 14 days of receipt of this letter," reads the letter.

In the same letter, Mpoyana Ledwaba Inc also urged Sandlana to consider responding to the letter within seven days, failing which they would be forced to drag him to court to get an order compelling him to take the test.

"Should you ignore this letter, purely for the purposes of certainty and closure we shall deem your ignorance of this letter as an admittance of the allegations.

"In that event we will be left with no option but to approach the high court to compel you to subject yourself to such paternity tests," concludes the letter.

Ledwada told Sunday World that the executors had not yet decided on the method to be used to determine Sandlana's paternity.

"He has not yet responded to our letter and the intention is now to compel him through the courts to do a paternity test," said Ledwaba.

Ledwaba said Sandlana's alleged statement that he was the son of the late man of the cloth had forced the executors to halt the distribution of the assets to identified beneficiaries.

Bonisile Majavu of Majavu Attorneys, representing Sandlana and IPHC, confirmed his client was served with a letter ordering him to undergo a paternity test to prove if he was indeed the son of the late bishop.

"They are targeting Sandlana because there's a rumour that he has a will. We dared those lawyers to go ahead with legal action," said Majavu.

Majavu said Sandlana was not prepared to subject himself to the paternity test as he had no intentions of laying a claim against Modise's estate.

He said his client was in possession of a will but said Sandlana was getting a legal opinion on it. "He has a copy of the will and he has resolved to sought the advice of the CRL Commission about its implication. The matter will be heard by the CRL Commissioner very soon," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Modise family, Emmanuel Lekgau said Sandlana was a "con artist" who lied to the church that he was the late bishop's son.

"We wrote him a letter asking him to subject himself to a paternity test to prove that he was indeed the son of the comforter. But he never said anything nor responded to our letter," Lekgau said.

Lekgau also confirmed claims that Sandlana was recently confirmed and appointed by the church's current executive committee as "Comforter" (title of IPHC leader), but he said the move would be deemed illegal as there are pending legal cases pertaining to the same issue of church leadership.

mothombenia@sundayworld.co.za

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