Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has finally opened up about the incident in which at least three people died and several others were injured at his Enlightened Christian Gathering Church last week.
Taking to his Facebook page on Monday, Bushiri explained that he had been silent on the matter because he valued life more than “bickering”. He said even though the media was “hostile” towards him and his church, he still chose to remain silent out of respect.
“At times we choose silence, because we value human life above bickering. We value God’s work above all else. Words are powerful and mean a lot. The media might be hostile but our silence is not cowardice but respect.
“When we do speak, if you listen, you will understand that the anointing is always in control.”
He was responding to his spokesperson Maynard Manyowa’s interview with the SABC on Saturday in which he alleged there were people in “high chairs” who were serving their own agendas by inciting protestors to target Bushiri.
Though he had been silent on the matter, Manyowa said Bushiri was deeply affected by the deaths of his congregants.
He said: “He struggled when he learnt of the news because these are his sons and daughters. He calls them that because he genuinely loves them. I watched him break down, I watched him in tears, it deeply hurt him that people who had come to worship lost their lives. It affected him deeply.”
The South African Police Service on Monday opened a case of defeating the ends of justice against Bushiri’s church following the death of the three congregants.
According to reports, the deceased were certified died at the church premises, the incident was not reported to the police, and the bodies were removed and taken to a private mortuary.
But Manyowa could not confirm the bodies were moved to the mortuary without involving the police.
“We learned about the bodies in the media and we’re in contact with the police, we’re cooperating with them and anyone who might need information. We would be speculating if we say we took the bodies to the private mortuary, the matter is under police investigation.
“A lot of the carnage became abundantly clear when things calmed down, it was only then that it was clear that people had been severely injured. The initial response was to try and get as much medical attention as we can to the people that had been injured. The ensuing chaos did not help as people were running in different directions.”