Top New Apostolic Church members 'spent tithes buying properties, assets for themselves'
Cape Town – Prominent New Apostolic Church
(NAC) members spent tithes buying
properties and assets for themselves, two
whistle-blowers have alleged.
But the church had refused to release to members the findings of an investigation despite promising it would do so, they said.
In response to a Cape Times investigation, the church has admitted that a forensic investigation into its financials recommended, among others, the tightening of controls and that action be taken against individuals.
A senior official of its finance department who was implicated in the report had resigned before it could take action, and the church did not report the alleged financial mismanagement to the police, as it had to consider, “among others, the merits of a case, the likelihood of success, the cost of litigation, the likelihood of harm/damage that litigation may cause to the image of the church”, according to its advocate Mervyn Doralingo.
The alleged misuse of funds occurred prior to the amalgamation of NAC regions within southern Africa about three years ago.
Congregant Andre Oosthuizen, who previously served as a Shepherd in the Silverton congregation in Pretoria, said he had continuously pestered the church for answers following the investigation.
“After the districts joined into the new structure, we were all promised
that a forensic investigation would
be undertaken and the results
would be made known to the entire
"The investigation was
completed a few years ago, but for
some reason it’s being kept secret.
We have enquired into it. But they
refused to give us the results,” said
Those implicated were not
brought to book, Oosthuizen said,
adding that he believed there may
be more officials involved in the
mismanagement of funds.
He added that by not acting
against those implicated, the church
was trying to protect individuals and
Another congregant, who asked
not to be identified for fear of
victimisation, said he had viewed the
church’s financial statements.
“I had requested to see the report
but was not allowed to see the final
report. After pushing, I was allowed
to see financial statements.
it was clear funds were leaving
the church’s accounts for no clear
reason, and these were significant
amounts adding up to about
R8 million in irregular expenditure,”
Church funds were used to source
large loans to purchase properties,
and some of those implicated had
sold private property in order to pay
back the money, he alleged.
After weeks of back and forth
between the Cape Times and the
NAC, it would not share the report,
saying it would only do so if ordered
to by a court of law.
Doralingo said a forensic
investigation had been instituted
in or around 2016 after the
international office of the church
became concerned about the
financial struggles of the church in
“The report recommended the
tightening of controls and that
action be taken against individuals.
Although the ‘Johannesburg Church’
at the time functioned as an entity
using its own bank accounts etc,
the newly established entity has an
interest in the affairs of the former
church due to continuing contracts
and other legal obligations,” said
While Doralingo said that the
recommendations contained in
the report were meant to serve as a
“guide” for future conduct, it was
never intended for use by outsiders.
The report was shared with the
leaders and discussed in a broadcast
open to all members of the church
in 2016, he said.
Asked whether action had been
taken against the official in the
finance department, Doralingo said:
“When a preliminary report fingered
the official, he was confronted
with the preliminary findings and
allegations and was suspended from
the employ of the church while the
investigation was continuing.
resigned from the employ of the
church before a charge could be
served or disciplinary action could be
taken against him.”
Asked about individuals
implicated in the report either
being asked to return funds or face
litigation, Doralingo said: “While the
church has put procedures in place
to ensure that church funds are not
applied for personal use, if it is found
to be the case, these funds must be
“The reference to the church ‘not
being likely to litigate’ should not
be quoted and/or understood out
of context. If appropriate, and after
consideration of, among others, the
merits of a case, the likelihood of
success, the cost of litigation, the
likelihood of harm/damage that
litigation may cause to the image of
the church etc, a decision to litigate
might well result.
"Where lost monies
can be recovered through other less
costly methods, these methods will
However he would not
say whether this had been done.
“As much as the church has to
be responsible in the manner it deals
with church funds, the church must
also act responsibly in disclosing
information,” he said.