Christians of South Africa (Cosa) on Thursday criticised the SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) over its xenophobic attacks against the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) in the wake of a stampede at the church which claimed three lives.
This comes barely a day after South Africa’s religious practices watchdog, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CLR Rights Commission), warned Sanco protesters against intimidating ECG members and Prophet Shepherd Bushiri as the South African constitution gives people freedom of worship.
Cosa president Pastor Derick Mosoana said: “These misguided attacks against the church by Sanco is evidence enough to prove that faith in South Africa is under attack and Christians should prepare themselves for a volcano of persecution, perpetuated by the ANC government.
“South Africa is not immune to stampedes and it is only normal that in every uncontrolled crowd, a stampede is unavoidable.
South Africans died during soccer matches and concerts but none of these agents of Satan ever lobbied support against the affected artists or soccer teams.”
He noted that 43 people died at Ellis Park stadium during a 2001 stampede, while a mother died at the University of Johannesburg while trying to find a place for her child a few years ago, and two people were killed during a soccer match in 2017 “and this activism was never witnessed”.
Cosa members were planning to visit the ECG premises in Tshwane on Sunday in support of Bushiri, Mosoana said, calling for support from other church denominations.
He said Cosa had sent its condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased women, identified as Patricia Pringane, Matshila Sarah Mohlala, and Lehlogahlo Maria Segodi.
Meanwhile, CLR is currently mediating talks between ECG and Sanco members.