Controversial pastor, bishop Bafana Zondo, has filed an urgent interdict to stop the CRL Commission from continuing its hearings into allegations of sexual abuse levelled against him.
Zondo’s matter against the commission and its chair, Professor David Luka Mosoma, was briefly heard via a virtual sitting in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
In court papers, Zondo argued that the commission did not act within its rights when it held publicly broadcasted hearings last month into the allegations against him and the church.
“The issue for determination is whether it falls within the constitutional and statutory remit for the respondents to hold ‘hearings’ during their investigative processes as though they were a commission of inquiry. They are not,” said Zondo in papers.
Last month, over the course of three days, the commission heard harrowing testimony from victims who alleged they were sexually assaulted by Zondo and that he used some sort of supernatural powers to control their lives and to commit acts of “evil”.
Zondo’s pastor, Lydia Malete, also an applicant in the matter, said the hearings conducted by the commission had put their lives in danger.
“The ordinary person looking and listening at these ‘hearings’ will not examine the allegations closely or seriously into their accuracy. The ordinary person warned to believe that the allegations are factual, which no doubt impairs the dignity of the church members, the second applicant and his role in the church, as well as the fellow pastors and me,” said Zondo in papers.
“The net effect of the false allegations which are being broadcast on television, aired on radio and shared on social media constitute violence to the image of the second applicant, the church members and myself.
“Our rights to dignity have been violated because of the manner in which the first respondent is conducting its proceedings. Our rights to practice our faith is being attacked unduly and our constitutional right of association is being hampered and violated,” he added.
Representatives of the commission and Masoma said they sought to have the matter struck off the court roll. The matter was expected to continue in court on Friday.
Meanwhile, the commission had sent a summons to Zondo to appear before them on 14 December.