Religious body chairperson fears for her life after Mboro threats


Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, head of rights commission CRL, speaks about the latest reports of the traditional practice of "ukuthwala" at a briefing in Johannesburg, Thursday, December 4, 2014.

JOHANNESBURG – Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Commission (CRL) chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said on Wednesday that she feared for her life following alleged threats made by Pastor Paseka “Mboro” Motsoeneng.

At a briefing at the CRL offices in Johannesburg, a disgruntled Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the worst insult from Mboro was that she had sexual feelings for him.

She believes his attacks stem from the criminal case she opened against him, as well as because she is a woman.

“Women in leadership have to suffer the undermining of their position and reducing me to ‘this woman’,” she said.

“One thing I’ve realised about men who threaten a woman is that you must take him serious and not wait for him to commit his threats.”

READ: Pastor Mboro withdraws court action against religious rights commission

Pastor Mboro’s alleged threats follow the investigation and release of a report by the CRL that recommended religion be regulated under a single umbrella body to stop the commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems.

The investigation followed reports of irregular practices by some religious leaders, which included pastors spraying congregants with pesticides, and forcing them to eat grass and snakes.

The CRL also recommended that religious leaders and institutions be registered and pay tax like any other business in South Africa and that foreign nationals wishing to open churches in South Africa undergo strict vetting processes.

Mboro allegedly said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva had seven days to resign or she would "see" what would happen to her.

“He has said he would come and spray me with his holy water. I have sat here scared. I will be applying for a protection order because I do believe he will harm me or kill me or order his followers to harm me.”

Earlier Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said that summons were handed to various religious leaders, but Nigeria’s Pastor Chris, Prophet Mbiza and Mboro were the only ones who did not honour the summons.

“Pastor Chris said the CRL act was unconstitutional and unlawful. When the act was passed, the commission did not exist so it was not our fight. It’s between Pastor Chris and the government.”

WATCH: ‘I’m going on strike’ if congregants don’t pay my legal fees: Pastor Mboro

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the commission would not lay charges against him pending the response of the government, but if he failed to have the act declared unconstitutional, the commission would proceed with laying charges against him.

“Pastor Chris has not won any case against the CRL,” she said. “Mboro has made allegations against me, accusing me of being a liar saying I said he went to heaven and that Jesus had a “hot Xhosa” wife.”

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the commission had sent Mboro a summons requesting him to bring the photographs he allegedly took while in heaven. “We wanted him to come and explain.”

She said Mboro’s allegations had affected her right to faith and insulted her beliefs.

The CRL deputy chairperson Professor David Mosoma said Mboro had also made threats to the commission accusing it of corruption and calling for it to be disbanded.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the report would be discussed in Parliament next month.