Shock and disgust after church 'abuse' video goes viral
The department of women is “shocked” and “disgusted” at the treatment of congregants of the Endumisweni Faith Mission in Mdantsane, near East London.
Video footage of the incidents was circulated on social media.
“Once again, we see pastors and church leaders taking advantage of their positions of leadership to inflict abuse onto innocent church members. These videos, together with further testimonies reveal a cult-like following of this church where congregants are made to relinquish their human rights and serve as submissive beings,” departmental spokesperson Shalen Gajadhar said on Monday.
A video of what appears to be a woman beating two girls has sparked outrage on social media. The woman beating the girls is reportedly a church leader. The two girls in the video footage, which has since gone viral, spoke to DispatchLIVE about the incident.
They said they were being punished for a short video they had posted on WhatsApp in which they were seen dancing at a shopping centre.
At least 15 other members of the church have come forward since the video emerged, detailing their experiences at the church.
Minister for women Bathabile Dlamini said: “This type of victim-blaming is not only present in churches but is indicative of beliefs across society.”
The department said blaming victims has “seen women being taunted and physically assaulted for the places they choose to frequent, times during which they are outside their homes, what women wear, what women consume, or how they behave in social settings”.