Church of Scientology stopped from Covid-19 fumigation services over 'misrepresentations'

The department of social development on Tuesday halted a deal with Scientology Volunteer Ministries for fumigation services.
The department of social development on Tuesday halted a deal with Scientology Volunteer Ministries for fumigation services.
Image: 123RF / maridav

An agreement between the Church of Scientology for fumigation services has been halted.

This is according to the department of social development, which said on Tuesday that it had given permission for the church to fumigate its premises and facilities - but that this was a "once-off agreement".

In a statement, the department said that seen social media posts, containing a letter from acting director-general Mzolisi Toni, stating that the non-profit organisation Scientology Volunteer Ministries was authorised to "render sanitising services" during the Covid-19 lockdown.

"The letter, dated April 2 2020 ... [is] legitimate. The acting director-general, however, wishes to put it on record that the only agreement that existed between the department of social development and Scientology Volunteer Ministries was a once-off agreement that involved the fumigation of its premises and facilities," it said.

"To date, the NPO has rendered free fumigation services at the department’s head office in Pretoria, the Gauteng social development head office in Johannesburg and a number of [department] facilities in the Gauteng region.

"Unfortunately, due to the fact that there are currently persons calling door to door claiming to represent the Scientology Volunteer Ministries and carrying out 'Covid-19 sanitisation' on behalf of the department, the department and the Scientology Volunteer Ministries have agreed to terminate the fumigation agreement."

The department said it welcomed the good work from the church, but that it "cannot be drawn into misrepresentation when the prime focus ... is on rolling out interventions to mitigate against Covid-19".


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