Bushiri barred from opening South Africa’s ECG church: Sanco demands Major One to relocate

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…Bushiri returns to South Africa

The planned grand opening service of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church slated for yesterday has been postponed to an unannounced future date.

The African News Agency (ANA) reports that South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) which led protests against the Malawian prophet following a stampede at ECG premises that killed three congregants during a service last month says Bushiri cannot open his church before concluding mediation talks.

The church, reports ANA, issued a statement titled Important Message informing the multitude of ECG members that the 2019 open doors grand entrance service would not happen on Sunday as planned. The deceased women were identified as Patricia Pringane, Matshila Sarah Mohlala, and Lehlogahlo Maria Segodi.

However, the statement does not mention Sanco as the reason for the postponement.

Prophet Major One Bushiri ECG

Bushiri back in South Africa

ECG spokesperson, Maynard Manyowa, told ANA that the church would open its doors when ready.

“The church, from today [Sunday], has declared seven days of prayer and fasting. When we are ready we will open” the church said in a brief response.

Sanco, however, said it would be improper for ECG to resume its services at the Pretoria showgrounds “without addressing matters being raised by the community” while still demanding Prophet Bushiri to relocate his church suggesting a deadlock in the talks.

“It [ECG church] cannot be open while we are still under discussion. When they are to open we must make a press release, all of us, to say we have reached consensus as stakeholders. The South African Council of Churches should be part, and all the stakeholders. Those premises belong to the community, it’s a public building,” said Abram Mashishi, Sanco Tshwane regional chairperson.

“Those premises need to be handed back to the community. If Bushiri wants to practice or to do whatever, he can find other premises”.

“We have to agree on the issue of the compensation to the families [of the deceased] then we will say there is no reason to fight any longer.” said Mashishi while emphasizing that Sanco’s stance should not be construed as the organisation fighting a fellow African.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities (CRL commission) has initiated a mediation process between ECG and Sanco.

Meanwhile, Bushiri has returned to South Africa for a series of Open Door Partnership sessions.

“The Partnership program is designed to give an opportunity to those who willingly have a God-ordained desire to participate in the development of the vision for the ministry of PSBM” reads a description of the event posted on Bushiri’s official Facebook page.

The event is held at Sparkling Waters Hotel and Spa in Rustenburg. However, the church has not issued any statement about a possible relocation of ECG from Tswane Showgrounds in Pretoria as demanded by Sanco.

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