Vela Shembe and Mduduzi Shembe, cousin and son of the church’s late leader, Vimbeni Shembe, have been embroiled in a succession battle since his death in 2011.
Both Mduduzi and Vela Shemba are contesting the leadership of the congregation, which boasts about 5 million followers across the country, according to an eNCA report.
Mqoqi Ngcobo, who announced Mduduzi Shembe as the rightful heir during the late leader’s funeral, was expected to testify in the court on Wednesday.
However, a fist fight and brief scuffle broke out before court proceedings after members from both factions hurled insults at one another, which prompted the judge to postpone the matter from his chambers.
It is still unclear who Vimbeni Shembe chose to succeed him following his death.
The case continues today.
YOH!Shembe elders fighting amongst themselves over who should lead the church!…*fists and all*
— @Leera (@lmokatsanyane) April 15, 2015
#Shembe Church should be praising the Good Lord and not taking one another to court! What's that about??? ????
— Lundi The Gambu (@Sir_NyongssZA) April 15, 2015
Lmao death by leaders of the Shembe church group fighting over succession physically in court. ????
— Thembinkosi Nyirenda (@_CrUnKaY_) April 15, 2015
There was #shembephobia today as two factions of shembe church fought in court
— Ndzavi Derrick | CBA (@NdzaviDerrick) April 15, 2015
I don't understand the Shembe leadership battle. Its a church for heaven's sake. #Morals
— grumpy chap (@alwayswhining) April 16, 2015
And what of the Shembe Church? They should be leading the charge against #XenophobicAttacks but they are at each others throats. Christians?
— Lesia (@lesiamolibeli) April 16, 2015
So the Shembe siblings are still fighting over the church? ????????
— P. Maluleka., M.Ed, Cum Laude (Wits) (@_PaulM) April 16, 2015
After seeing that brawl in court from Shembe church leaders m starting to believe that some of this churches r running a business
— Simply $€££0™ (@selloAP) April 16, 2015
Lol apparently there was boxing fight between Shembe church leaders at court yesterday
— Dj Lebza_sa (@Lebza_dj) April 16, 2015
– Caxton News Service