The CRL Rights Commission in Johannesburg has heard allegations of abuse and forced male sterilization at the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) during its investigative hearings.
The Universal Church has its headquarters in Brazil with branches across the globe, including in South Africa.
A number of former Pastors have come forward with allegations that include racism and that there were forced sterilizations.
Former Pastor Ntsikelelo Taaibosch says he has been stressed and sad for the last 18-years of his life.
“My name is Ntsikelelo Taaibosch, I am from Cape Town, I’m a former Pastor at UCKG. For the last 18-years of my life, we were not allowed to study, we were not allowed to have jobs, we were not allowed to have a house of our own. We were not allowed to have children. We were forced to have a vasectomy. For the past 18-years, we were stressed and very sad.”
Taaibosch saying he was stripped of his dignity as a man and saw his basic human rights infringed. He says he and others endured years of abuse.
“We have no rights to visit our families. We were told to forget about our families because they would not understand our calling. We were forced to have a vasectomy because we were told we have no rights. We were taken at a very young age, some of us 15, 16, 17, and we were told the church would take care of us. We were recruited without the rights of our parents, we were told to leave school without the rights of our parents.”
Pastor Goodwill Ndaole testified that he was almost forced to undergo a second vasectomy when the first male sterilization surgery didn’t succeed. Goodwill says his wife fell pregnant and they were immediately told to pack their bags.
“I discovered that my wife, she is pregnant. And he told me, hmm I advise you to pack your bags already. And they asked me, did you do a vasectomy? And I told them yes. So I told the doctor that I need to have another vasectomy, but the doctor refused, saying I’m still young. I told him it’s the rules of the church or else I will be in trouble.”
A lady who wanted to remain anonymous, says it left her yearning to have children of her own.
“We wives in the Universal Church, we were told to keep quiet, we are told not to say anything. We live by the rules and regulations of the church. As a wife, you have to be submissive to the leaders of the church and whatever they tell you to do, you do it. As a woman, I wanted a child. But there were no ways because I was deprived of having my own children or to get pregnant.”
Meanwhile, Jacob Khumalo from KZN told the commission that most congregants lost their money and houses through believing the lies they were told by the church.
“They killed me spiritually, they killed me physically. I have no money, I have nothing today. The universal church collection, they have tricks. Most people at the universal church, lose their houses, they lose their cars, they lose their money in the bank accounts. With campaigns saying, we are going to Israel, take half of your amount in your bank account. People, they take this. Most of the universal church things are tricks.”
The Commission will hold another session in the near future.
CRL Rights Commission hears shocking, disturbing claims implicating Universal Church: