Eastern Cape Social Development MEC, Nancy Sihlwayi says they were blocked from investigating the state of affairs at the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministries in Ngcobo.
She says the Commission on Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) prohibited her department from probing the church. Two years ago, the department rescued 18 children after it emerged that the church does not allow its members to leave the premises.
On Friday last week, seven suspects believed to be linked to the killings of five police officers, were killed during a shootout at the church premises.
Sihlwayi blames the CRL commission: “We were barred to continue with that, to date we have not received any response from the commission. That’s why I’m saying that I’m very disappointed that the situation got to where it is today because our plan was to get there and have a clear plan where we also include the crime.”
Meanwhile, Parliament has hit back at CRL chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva for partly blaming Parliament for the incident at Ngcobo.
She reportedly said Parliament should take the blame, because it has delayed passing legislation to regulate the activities of churches and other religious establishments.
Parliament’s Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo was scathing about Mkhwanazi-Xaluva: “The utterances by the commission chairperson are very irresponsible. We believe that they are unfortunate, especially coming from such a person who holds a very important office in our constitutional make-up. You know during this time of mourning and grieving for our fallen compatriots at Ngcobo, society expects people like her who hold a key position in our democracy to provide leadership and calm. Unfortunately she made inflammatory utterances that have no basis in fact, in law and in constitution.”
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