File picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA)
Raymond Sibanga, a Methodist Church member, has issued a public apology for leaking an audio recording of a conversation with ANC chaplain Reverend Vukile Charles Mehana in which Mehana is heard making offensive comments about women.

Read Sibanga's full, unedited apology:

I sincerely apologise for an audio that is making rounds in the social media of a conversation between myself and Reverend Mehana. The audio was not meant for public consumption. It was meant to hear views of Rev Mehana on the matter of robing of YMG members by female ministers as it has caused a bit of confusion. 

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. 

I unfortunately shared the conversation with some YMG members while we were discussing whether it was wrong or right according to the YMG constitution for a minister who is not a member of the YMG to robe YMG on-trials, not knowing that they would spread it through social media. 

I thought I was conversing with mature adults who would understand that this was a conversation that took place between two people on this topic. The audio was not randomly and intentionally sent to tarnish the name of Rev Mehana nor of female ministers of our church, but it was sent responding to a question on robing of YMG members.  

I profusely and unconditionally apologise because:

*  I was wrong to record him without his permission and it was wrong and inappropriate to pass on a private conversation to other people.

* By passing on this audio, I have unintentionally damaged the integrity, the reputation and dignity of Rev Mehana as the conversation has now been misconstrued to portray Rev Mehana as gender-biased, disregarding our own Book of Order and as someone who cannot be touched as per comments on social media, which is not the case, and because

* This has obviously also pained the Minister referred to in the audio and Methodists at large.

I sincerely apologise to Rev Mehana, his family, Rev Sibhidla and family, to friends and to the Methodist family – ministers and laity - at large.

Yours sincerely

Raymond Sibanga

Methodist Church member