Controversial church leaders could face criminal charges

JOHANNESBURG, 02 December 2015 – Two more church leaders could soon find themselves before the courts, after failing to appear before the CRL commission – a criminal offence. It’s investigating the alleged commercialisation of religion. Video: eNCA

JOHANNESBURG - Two church leaders could find themselves before the courts, after failing to appear before a special commission.

The hearings are investigating practices in South African churches.

Failure to appear before the commission is a criminal offence.

The CRL Commission, which had its last sitting for the year, had to endure more drama on Wednesday.

What was meant to be the final opportunity for Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng to hand over the financial records of his church, turned into a squabbling match.

After Motsoeneng's lawyer questioned the commission’s powers, he then announced that his client no longer wished to take part in the proceedings.

The Commission’s Chairperson reassured Motsoeneng's supporters that there was no witch-hunt against the Prophet, but that was not enough to quell the ire of some men, who disturbed proceedings,

Motsoeneng's lawyer then asked if they could be excused, but were declined, after which he threatened they would leave anyway.

Commission Chairperson, Thoko Mkwananzi-Xaluva responded, saying if they left, they'd have to head straight to the police station.

“If you excuse yourself like they did, they are already in violation. You can only leave after the chairperson says thank you now you can go," he said.

"So we are investigating a possible charge against the lawyer as well.”

Motsoeneng is not the only one with a criminal charge hanging over his head.

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome from Christ Embassy was also supposed to appear before the Commission but didn’t.

The CRL will now lay charges against him as well.



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