The head of a South African church has been criticized after he publicly humiliated one of his pastors for being gay.
The church says it merely put Potchefstroom parish leader Rev Jabulani Motsai on “compulsory leave of absence” to fix his marital problems and that the suspicion of him being gay was raised in a letter from his wife.
Motsai’s supporters have set up a movement called Luphuwana Must Fall. Its Facebook page has more than 530 followers who want Luphuwana to step down.
Last week lawyers representing the church, which has about 150 branches across SA, sent a six-page letter to three of Motsai’s supporters threatening them with action if they did not stop their attacks on Luphuwana.
The letter from Aysha Bhabha Attorneys, which the Sunday Times has seen, accuses them of “defaming a senior member” of the church and distributing “untrue and highly defamatory comments, some which contain malicious falsehoods”.
Patty Sekgoto, a member of the movement who attends the Potchefstroom parish, said Motsai had been “humiliated” by Luphuwana and that due process had not been followed in his “suspension”.
She said Luphuwana “had been on Motsai’s case, including attacking his children” at the youth conference in Potchefstroom in April.
“At one stage the bishop said: ‘How can a child of a pastor have dreadlocks as if he’s on drugs?’ It’s Motsai’s son who has dreadlocks who was at the conference,” Sekgoto said.
“Before announcing that Motsai had been suspended, he said in Xhosa: ‘Umuntu awazi noba yindoda okanye umfazi [One doesn’t even know if that person is a man or woman],’” Sekgoto said.
“Even though the bishop did not mention Motsai’s name, it was very clear to everyone at the conference who he was referring to.”
However, Luphuwana denies this. “I have never uttered those words in my entire life,” he told Sunday Times.
Another member of the movement, Xoliswa Damane, from Cape Town, said that a month later, the church’s pastors, excluding Motsai, were invited to a meeting in Bloemfontein where a letter from Motsai’s wife was read out. In it she said their marriage was falling apart and that she suspected her husband was gay.
Everyone at the meeting was told that Motsai would be given three years off to sort out his life.
Content created and supplied by: Dizaldo (via Opera News )
Opera News is a free to use platform and the views and opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author and do not represent, reflect or express the views of Opera News. Any/all written content and images displayed are provided by the blogger/author, appear herein as submitted by the blogger/author and are unedited by Opera News. Opera News does not consent to nor does it condone the posting of any content that violates the rights (including the copyrights) of any third party, nor content that may malign, inter alia, any religion, ethnic group, organization, gender, company, or individual. Opera News furthermore does not condone the use of our platform for the purposes encouraging/endorsing hate speech, violation of human rights and/or utterances of a defamatory nature. If the content contained herein violates any of your rights, including those of copyright, and/or violates any the above mentioned factors, you are requested to immediately notify us using via the following email address operanews-external(at)opera.com and/or report the article using the available reporting functionality built into our Platform See More