Investigative hearings into allegations of rape, human rights violations and abuse at the KZN-based KwaSizabantu mission have concluded in Durban. Church members have testified about their experiences and so far, a picture of two vastly different worlds in one church body, has been painted. eNCA’s Lethiwe Mdluli reports. Courtesy #DStv403
DURBAN - Investigative hearings looking into rape and human rights violation and abuse allegations against KZN based KwaSizabantu mission have concluded in Durban, for now.
More church members have testified about their experiences and so far they speak of two vastly different worlds in one church body.
A former member of the church has previously shared in a documentary by News24, about how she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted because she wanted to leave the church but another church member said he is never heard of such happenings at the church.
Raffik Ismail, a church member, said, "she was never kidnapped; I testify to that. I've never, never seen any facility or room or whatever it is. I've never seen something where locked burglar guards or cages or anything of that nature. I've never seen that, even in the hospital building, where the alleged people are locked up, I can testify."
Other former members have also made allegations of racist rules within the church, claiming that black girls are required to keep their hair short while the rule does not apply to their white counterparts.
One church member said she kept her hair short because that was her choice.
Nobuhle Waega said, "I was not aware. People have short hair there, So I was never aware of anything. Nobody came to me and told me, Buhle you must cut your hair. I came with short hair, so it was never a problem to me because I grew up keeping my hair short."
On allegations that girls were being forced to undergo virginity testing, Waega said she heard of the allegations of virginity testing from media reports.
Chairperson David Masoma said the commission is not yet done with hearings.
He said, for now, the commission needs to provide all the transcripts and then hear the church's side of the story.