IPHC leader says he has ’nothing to hide’ in ongoing fraud probe
PRETORIA – The leader of IPHC Jerusalem, one of the three factions of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church was on Monday morning at the Sandton police station in Joburg amid what it says are orchestrated allegations and rumours of fraud in his personal estate wrangle with estranged wife Benedicta.
Without specifying whether Michael Sandlana had been arrested or not, IPHC Jerusalem spokesman Vusi Ndala said the charismatic church leader had gone to the station “in his ongoing bid to clear his name” in the fraud allegations.
“The allegation is premised on the complaint laid by Ms Benedicta Sandlana, the estranged wife, and the allegations by Arnold Joseph Attorneys, her legal advisors,” Ndala said, adding that Sandlana, affectionately referred to as the “comforter” within the IPHC, had nothing to hide and had been an exemplary public figure in South Africa for years.
“A fraud case was opened at the Sandton police station, alleging that comforter Sandlana had a role in the death certificate issued by the national department of home affairs purporting that Ms Benedicta Sandlana had died.”
Ndala said the allegations were that this had been done to take church property away from Benedicta Sandlana’s personal estate and her husband had subsequently faced various accusations “without anyone explaining how he should be linked to what home affairs does, let alone his supposed control of what a state department does”.
“In the spirit of transparency and in line with his unwavering commitment to clear the air on the widespread allegations which have been reported in the media, comforter Sandlana will this morning be visiting the Sandton police station where the matter was reported a few days ago,” Ndala said.
He said Sandlana’s personal affairs “are now being used to discredit and dethrone him” amid a long-running bitter leadership battle for leadership of the IPHC church.
The well-known church, which boasts a three-million strong membership in South Africa and neighbouring countries, has been engulfed in a bitter three-way conflict to succeed Glayton Modise, who had inherited it from his father and founder Frederick Samuel Modise in 1998.
There has been an intensive conflict between the three main contenders – Glayton Modise's two sons Frederick Leonard Goitsemang and Tshepiso, and Michael Sandlana, reportedly Glayton Modise's son out of wedlock – to take over the reins of the church.
There has been an intensive three-way tussle between Glayton Modise's two sons Leonard and Tshepiso, as well as Sandlana – who is reportedly also his son born out of wedlock – to take over the reins.
Leonard Modise leads the IPHC group based in Zuurbekom, while the other two run splinter groups elsewhere.
Sandlana reportedly leads about 90% of the church branches and has the support of most IPHC priests on the church council.
African News Agency (ANA)