Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Cape Town - Reverend Vukile Charles Mehana has issued a heartfelt apology and asked for forgiveness for the "derogatory and demeaning" comments he made to Mr Raymond Sibanga in a private conversation which has since been leaked.

Mehana, in a statement, said he regrets making such utterances and respectfully retract them.

"I humbly apologise to Rev Nompithizelo Sibhidla, who was disparagingly mentioned in the conversation and I am deeply sorry that her good name has been sullied undeservedly.

"Furthermore, I also apologise unreservedly to all the women ministers in the MCSA whom I have offended, members of the YMG and all people called Methodists.

On Monday, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa distanced itself from the offensive and shocking remarks Mehana made.

The church’s presiding Bishop Zipho Siwa said that Mehana's views are in no way representative of the position of the church and its functional duties.

"We note with dismay the blatant disrespect and portrayal of women who are characterised in a dismissive, humiliating and degrading caricature."

The church has also launched a full investigation.