The CRL Rights Commission is investigating the commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people’s beliefs, and has summoned leaders of several religious organisations to appear before it.
All those summoned to the hearings are required to produce their ordination certificate, church registration certificate, bank statements and annual financial statements dating back from 2012.
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An empty-handed Motsoeneng, popularly known as Mboro, who is the leader of the Incredible Happenings Church, said he came to seek clarity on what the hearings were actually about.
He had previously sent his lawyers to the proceedings, and said he had heard that those who had failed to compile and hand over their documents would be jailed. He told the commissioners to do what they had to do.
“For my belief, I will be glad to go to jail. Even now, I can be taken there,” Mboro said. It has previously been reported that Prophet Mboro claimed he could perform miracles.
“Now the headlines will be saying Mboro has R10 million in his account . . . I have enemies. Now they will know my strength and weakness . . . I want to protect myself, my church and my ministry, so I have to look and consult thoroughly with my lawyers,” he said.
Sitting next to the pastor was his son, who had his crèche backpack with him. Mboro sent the child outside, saying he did not want his son to be traumatised should his father be jailed.
“Do what you have to do as you promised,” he said.
Commission Chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva gave Mboro a firm response.
“If you say that you are not going to give [those documents], you might as well have stayed at home. Let us all play nice . . . You have not been accused of anything. You are not being treated any different from anyone [else],” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
Mboro refused to answer questions, including whether or not his church was officially registered.
He questioned whether religious leaders from the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) and the Islamic faith had also been summoned, adding that he felt targeted.
Before proceedings began, Mboro made another controversial move when asked whether he chose to take an oath or rather take a solemn vow.
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Ironically, Mboro, who travels with a team of bodyguards, chose to take the solemn vow instead of taking the oath, saying one should be careful of how one used the name of God.
After a back and forth with the commissioners, Mboro requested a postponement, but maintained that his financial statements were private.
The commission agreed to give Mboro a nine-day postponement to consult his lawyers and produce all his documents. He is expected to appear before the commission again on 18 November.