The Methodist Church of Southern Africa will conduct an investigation into the recording of a telephone conversation between Reverend Vukile Mehana and a member of the church Raymond Sibanga.

In the recording Mehana makes derogatory remarks about female ministers in his church.

The Reverend has since issued an apology but the ANC has already snubbed him from its January 8th celebration.

In the recording Mehana uses derogatory remarks relating to women and asks how women with big breasts are allowed to robe men in the church.

The backlash received has prompted the pair to issue public apologies on the matter.

In a statement, Mehana has apologised to Reverend Nompithizelo Sibhidla who is being referred to in the clip and her family.

“It is with a heavy heart that I issue my heartfelt apology in respect of the comments which I made in a private conversation with Raymond Sibanga. In retrospect, the comments I made are derogatory and demeaning to all women in ministry.”

“I regret making such utterances and respectfully retract them. To this end I humbly apologise to Rev Nompithizelo Sibhidla and I am deeply sorry that her good name has been sallied undeservedly. I take full responsibility for my actions.”

The African National Congress has been the latest to condemn Mehana for his utterances.

Mehana, who is the Chaplain-General of the ANC, will no longer officiate at the ANC’s January 8th Statement in Durban next week.

ANC expresses disappointment

ANC spokesperson in the Presidency, Zizi Kodwa has expressed disappointment following the remarks attributed to Mehana.

“The ANC has informed the church through the Bishop, that the Reverend Mehana will not be officiating the ANC January 8 celebration which are planned for next week in Durban. The ANC NEC will have to discuss the issues about the chaplaincy of the ANC in light of the statements attributed to its General.”

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa, to which Mehana belongs, has strongly condemned his utterances.

In a statement, the church distanced itself from Mehana, saying his remarks are not a reflection of the MCSA.

Presiding Bishop of the church, Ziphozihle Siwa says:”The statement that they made over that recording is distasteful and unacceptable. We condemned it very strongly.”

Siwa also says the church will launch an investigation into the matter.

However, Sibanga who circulated the audio says it was not meant for public consumption.

In a statement, Sibanga also apologises as the conversation was recorded without Mehana’s knowledge.

“The audio was not meant for public consumption. I recorded Rev Mehana without his knowledge and without his permission. I recorded the conversation as I was speaking to him while at work and hoping to listen to it later when I am at home.”

“The audio was not randomly and intentionally sent to tarnish the name neither of Rev Mehana nor of female ministers of our church. I profusely and unconditionally apologise.”

The South African Council of Churches says it is disgusted by the shocking and unbelievable utterances made by Mehana.

The Council wants the Commission for Gender Equality to urgently attend to this issue.

General Secretary of the SACC, Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says the utterances are a human rights matter.

“The Commission for Gender Equality has a responsibility of its own. It’s the kind of thing that woul;d require some attention purely from its Constitutional significance. It is more than a gender matter, it is also essentially a human rights matter.”