The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) will be facilitating talks between the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) and “prophet” Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering church.
This comes amid protests calling for the church to be shut down. Sanco has been at the fore front of the protests.
“In line with its mandate, the commission has called for a mediation meeting between the Enlightened Christian Gathering [church] and A South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on January 10 2019,” the commission said.
There have been several protests and growing calls for the Malawian pastor to close his church doors and leave the country.
This was fuelled by the deaths of three church members, killed in a stampede ahead of a church service last month.
Several other people were injured.
“The commission is aware of the marches at the church demanding that the prophet should leave the country,” it said in a statement.
“[We] caution the members of the public that the SA constitution gives people the freedom of religion as well as freedom of association. This right therefore means that people have a right to associate with any religious organisation wherever and whenever they deem it necessary to do so, as long as such a religious organisation operates within the national laws or local bylaws,” the CRL said.