We support move to remove false prophets‚ says CRL chairperson

14 March 2018 - 15:16 By Penwell Dlamini
Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

The chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL)‚ Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva‚ has applauded the campaign by a group of Christians who marched to her offices to protest against false prophets.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva received a memorandum of demands from the #FalseProphetsMustFall movement in Braamfontein‚ Johannesburg‚ seeking to raise attention to the damage that those pretending to be God’s chosen messengers are doing in the lives of the people.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva sounded very relieved that civil society was rising up to take up the fight to restore the dignity and respect that the Christian faith has enjoyed for years in South Africa.

“We are very much in support of the movement. We feel it is long overdue and that this should have happened years ago. We are hoping that this revolution is going to grow and other people‚ all over the country‚ all over the continent‚ will support this movement that makes sure that we remove false prophets from the church and that the church gets back its dignity and respect‚” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.

Mkhwanazi-Xaluva received a lot of criticism when she led an inquiry into the commercialisation of religion in various religious formations across the country. She received death threats‚ curses and rejection from some of the prominent pastors in the land for her work.

During the inquiry the CRL established it was a fact that there was indeed commercialisation of religion in South Africa. It also established that a number of churches did not have proper structures to deal with administration‚ finances and accountability.

The commission recommended that the religious community establish its own peer-review mechanism which would enable it to deal with leaders bringing a particular faith into disrepute.

It recommended that a structure be set up which will accredit religious leaders in order to enable them to open a church and practice as leaders in a particular faith. The same structure would then set up norms and standards for what is acceptable in the faith and what is considered as misconduct.

Since the dawn of democracy‚ there has been a huge growth of evangelistic and prophetic ministries in South Africa. These have led to mega churches being set up in the country’s major cities. However‚ the rise of the prophetic ministry did not come cheap. It was accompanied by absurd behaviours where congregants were asked to eat grass‚ snakes and petrol just to demonstrate the power of God.

The country has also been seeing pastors and prophets making headlines for sexually abusing their congregants.

Organisers of the march in Braamfontein‚ Johannesburg‚ urged all the famous preachers to join the call against false prophets. There were also victims who shared with journalists how pastors used their positions to benefit financially and enjoy control over their lives.