Zondo says rape, murder accusations made against him at CRL Commission are insulting and demeaning
Johannesburg - Rivers of Living Waters Ministries leader Archbishop Stephen Zondo has approached Parliament to lodge a complaint against the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission).
The church and its leader Zondo have made waves in the news recently following allegations of sexual assault, exploitation and cult-like behaviour levelled against them during hearings at the commission’s offices in Braamfontein.
Zondo, who labelled the allegations baseless, demeaning and insulting, hosted a press briefing in Robertsham on Friday where he announced that the church had lodged a complaint against the commission with Speaker of the National Assembly Thandi Modise.
“The allegations against the archbishop and members of the church are baseless, demeaning, insulting and in violation of the constitutional rights of the archbishop and members of the church. In particular, the constitutional rights of dignity, privacy and freedom of religion,” Zondo said.
The church leader said the hearings and the evidence openly incited violence against the church, its members and Zondo and his family. He added that the hearings did not promote respect for the protection of his rights and the church.
“The hearing does not promote or develop peace, friendship, humanity, tolerance and national unity among members of the church and the community in which they operate and does not foster mutual respect among members and former members of the church,” he said.
Zondo also alleged that the church was not given notice on the manner in which the hearings were going to be conducted and that no rights were explained to him or any other church leader implicated.
“The archbishop was only given a notification letter informing that he will be given an opportunity to be heard on an unspecified date. This is substantively and procedurally irregular,” Zondo said.
He added that the letter of complaint to Modise served as an urgent request for the secession of the open hearings as well as a request for an investigation concerning the conduct of the commissioners and commission chairperson Professor Luka David Mosoma. “The request is for the establishment of an investigation for the removal of the chairperson and the members of the commission from the office,” he said.
The church’s attorney Jeffrey Rahlagane said the complaint was lodged on Thursday.