South Africa 16.4.2015 02:00 pm

Fist fight interrupts Shembe church trial

FILE PICTURE: There was drama in the Durban High court as Shembe church members of two factions Ebuhleni faction led by Mduduzi Shembe and Thembezinhle faction led by Vela Shembe  fight inside court D, the two leaders are in a legal battle over the leadership of the church.
Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

FILE PICTURE: There was drama in the Durban High court as Shembe church members of two factions Ebuhleni faction led by Mduduzi Shembe and Thembezinhle faction led by Vela Shembe fight inside court D, the two leaders are in a legal battle over the leadership of the church. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

The ongoing leadership squabble between two opposing factions of the Nazareth Baptist Church – better known as the Shembe church – ended in fisticuffs in the Durban High Court yesterday.

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.

https://twitter.com/RudzieNegota/status/588582322011656192

Caxton News Service

 

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