Investigation into KZN mission kicks off with rape and murder allegation

KwaSizabantu, which started as a humble Christian mission in 1970, is at the centre of an investigation after allegations of abuse.
KwaSizabantu, which started as a humble Christian mission in 1970, is at the centre of an investigation after allegations of abuse.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Compelling evidence from a witness blew the lid open on allegations of rape and murder at KwaSizabantu mission in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Monday.

The witness alleged that the church not only covered up her rape and pregnancy, but was also allegedly complicit in keeping mum about the murder of her brother.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) began its three-day probe into the allegations of sexual and religious abuse at KwaSizabantu in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The inquiry was launched after an explosive report by News24 which detailed victims' stories of abuse as well as allegations of money laundering by the mission which owns aQuelle.

The mission has vehemently denied accusations that it operated as a cult, was guilty of covering up sex crimes and murder or that it was a conduit for money laundering. It claimed the allegations were part of a malicious plot and it is expected to address the commission on Tuesday.

Commission chair Prof David Mosoma said they wanted to get to the bottom of the allegations against the church.

“We want to probe and get to the bottom of these issues and find the truth. We want to make sure that these matters that have touched the consciousness of the nation with regards to human rights abuse and religious beliefs [are investigated]," he said.

Mosoma briefly spoke to media at the inquiry, which got under way in Durban on Monday. Over the next three days they will be interviewing victims, church leaders and hold an engagement with the National Prosecuting Authority.

In a closed session on Monday the commission met representatives of the media who reported on the story, to get their insight.

This was followed by evidence from the woman.

TimesLIVE


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