Links with ATM frowned on by ANC-supporting umbrella body

Twelve Apostolic Church leaves governing council

Thandiswa Marawu, with mic, is one of the ATM members that the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) is calling to step down amid a row over unpaid church membership fees.
Thandiswa Marawu, with mic, is one of the ATM members that the South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ (SACMCC) is calling to step down amid a row over unpaid church membership fees.
Image: Youtube video screenshot

Twelve Apostolic Church in Christ, under the leadership of chief apostle Caeser Nongqunga, has ended its membership of the South African Council of Messianic Churches.

TACC, which is believed to have an estimated six million members in southern Africa, has allegedly failed to pay R100,000 owed in membership fees. The TACC was a key player in the council as it enjoys power, money and influence.

In 2017, the TACC’s Nongqunga used the now controversial VBS Mutual Bank as the church’s bank.

The council’s Mncedisi Gulwa confirmed the TACC was no longer a member church and would no longer participate in Messianic Council matters.

He said there were rumours that Nongqunga was formalising a new church council. “In fact we wish them well in their planned new church-based political council.”

Attempts to contact Nongqunga drew a blank and his personal assistant said he was away and not taking calls.

On the African Transformation Movement (ATM), which has close links with Nongqunga, Gulwa said they did not recognise the ATM political party, most of whose members were from the TACC.

Last month the Dispatch reported that the council had written to the TACC demanding that its members, whom they had deployed in parliament, be removed. This was after the TACC failed to “toe the line” and to pay membership fees amounting to about R100,000 to the council.

It has since emerged that the reason for the TACC leaders being removed from the council was that they were anti-ANC while the council supports the ruling party’s policies.

The termination of TACC’s membership places pressure on ATM MPs Thandiswa Marawu and Vuyolwethu Zungula, as well as MPLs Veliswa Mvenya in Bhisho and Mxolisi Phakathi in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mvenya pointed out she was not a member of the TACC but had been approached by the ATM because of her political experience.

On Thursday, Gulwa said they were removing all TACC members from national and provincial legislatures. They were also in the process of approaching the Electoral Court about the registration of ATM as a political party.

“Our process of removing all TACC members from national and provincial legislature is at an advanced stage.

“We as the messianic churches will not contest any elections going forward, as we respect the current ruling party, the ANC, and we will work with it to transform our society through Christ.”

Meanwhile, EFF leader Julius Malema laughed off a report that the newest political party to enter the scene was made up of former EFF members.

The African Federal Convention (Afco) was launched on Wednesday. SABC show OnPoint tweeted that Afco was a splinter of the EFF.

Malema did not comment directly on the tweet‚ but made his views known by posting crying with laughter and thumbs-up emojis. It was Malema’s deputy‚ Floyd Shivambu‚ who explained that the Afco founders were actually former ATM members. He claimed they were “campaigning for‚ and were candidates of‚ ATM” in the May elections. – Additional reporting by Ernest Mabuza

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