CRL Commission hears disturbing testimony about KwaSizabantu

Witnesses testified at hearings held by the CRL Rights Commission on alleged human rights abuses at the Kwasizabantu Mission in KwaZulu Natal. Courtesy of #DStv403

DURBAN - Hearings held by the CRL Rights Commission into the Kwasizabantu Mission in the KZN Midlands have revealed witness testimony that the mission did not build families, but broke many.

Witnesses say they lived in fear and that the mission covered up much of what happened.

The alleged victims had been raped and some did not want to testify on-camera.

One victim is 45-year-old Celimpilo Malinga.

READ: KwaSizabantu hearings on rights abuse allegations commence

"My father didn't have a chance to be our father because our father was the church," Malinga testified.

"The church parented us, we never knew our parents' voice because they took instruction from the church and we did not have a relationship where they could say, "this is what we want for our children". 

"The church wanted something for their children. The church didn't build our family, the church broke our family."

The acts of rape were allegedly committed by church members either inside the church premises or outside.

READ: Religious leaders tell CRL they will self-regulate

"My dad said to me when I wanted to marry this lady and the mission didn't agree because they had the guts to tell me that she wasn't a virgin," the husband of one victim said.

"But they didn't have [the] guts to tell me was that she's been raped by one of their own and it was covered up."

The commission says some matters will be referred to law enforcement.

CRL chairperson professor David Mosoma said as a commission, they have the power to refer matters to organs of state.

"Consequently we have the power to speak to the organs of state about where the case is, which you reported a year ago."

On Tuesday, the commission will hear testimonies from the police while on Wednesday, church leaders are expected to present their defence.


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