According to Media reporting in a purported letter that The Maravi Post has not verified, Self-styled Prophet Shepherd Bushiri through his lawyers Baloyi-Ntsako Attorneys is threatening to take legal action against members of the South African National Civic Organization (SANCO) who have been organizing protests against Bushiri and ECG and threatening to expel him from South Africa since the unfortunate death of three congregants during a stampede.
SANCO Chairperson Abraham Mashishi and his organization have been mobilizing members of the community to burn tyres and barricade the road leading the church. Mashishi has also called for the closure of ECG saying the foreign church leaders must go back to their home countries.
Purported Letter Below:
- We act herein on behalf of Prophet Bushiri and the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (“the church”).
- You are a registered civic organization with legal personality. On Friday, 4 January 2019, and again on the 5 January 2019, your members unlawfully blocked and barricaded the main entrance to the church (Gate P7) at the Tshwane Show Grounds. The gate was blocked by your members by them inter alia burning tyres. Your members’ conduct as aforesaid was unlawful as a consequence of which the police subsequently arrested three persons who participated in the unlawful conduct at Gate P7.
- However, notwithstanding the above, SANCO’s chairperson, your goodself, Mr. Abraham Mashishi, and in your capacity as a representative of SANCO, publicly in the media (on SABC TV and Radio) and thereafter through social media incited its members to block/barricade the gate entrances to the church when the church services resume from about 18th of January 2019. The blocking/barricading of the gates are intended to prevent and threatened congregants of the church from attending church services at the church.
- Your conduct by inciting your members to block the entrances to the church and the past and proposed intent of your members to again block the entrances to the church when the church services resume is unlawful.
- You are hereby requested to give a written undertaking within 48 hours that you will: 5.1 refrain from inciting your members/and or any community member privately or publicly to block the access gates to the church and/or to prevent church congregants to attend the Director: Mr. Terrance Ntsako Baloyi Attorney (LLB) – Assisted by Candidate Attorney Dimakatso Sowana (LLB), Candidate Attorney Mantshadi Masithela (LLB), Vhonani Chabalala (Receptionist) Sedzani Badaga (Support Staff). church services; 5.2 publicly denounce any action designed to block the access to the church to prevent church congregants to attend church services at the church; 5.3 instruct and/or advise your members to refrain from the planned blocking of the accesses to the church when the church services resume from about 18 January 2019 or even 20 January 2019 and/or any other day thereof.
- Should you fail to give the undertakings as aforesaid, we have an instruction to bring an urgent application to the High Court in the Gauteng Division (Pretoria) for an interdict to prevent the planned blocking of accesses to the church as aforesaid. In addition, we will seek an order against Mr Abram Mashishi in his personal capacity and a cost order jointly and severally against SANCO on account of the planned unlawful conduct.
- Please note that this letter is in prejudice, thus will be used in support of the application for an interdict, should you not give the requested undertaking. We will also copy this letter to the South African Police Services, CRL Commission and the Commissioner for Human Rights, as your unlawful actions also unconstitutionally deprive congregants to freely exercise their religious rights.
- We await your response as a matter of urgency.
- Our client’s rights remain strictly reserved.