Enlighten Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri has hit back at his critics, saying his church had been consistently victimized based on falsehood claims.
Bushiri said this Monday when he appeared before CRL Rights Commission over December 31 stampede that claimed three lives.
“We have been victimised as a church, called all sorts of bad names and, sometimes, punished based on outright falsehoods advanced by faceless groups of people, mostly on social media.
“We have seen the media telling the public that I once said that South Africans love our church because they believe in magic/miracles, unlike Malawians who believe in God,” said Bushiri.
He added: “I have never said that. It is all lies. I challenge everybody out there, who has such a recording of me saying that to come forward and face me.”
He said he had also read stories circulating on social media that his church charged R25,000 to people who wanted to sit close to him at a gala dinner.
“The church doesn’t even know who created the poster and the church has never had such a gala dinner,” said Bushiri.
“We have also read in the media that our church charges people for me to pray for them. That’s shocking. Why don’t you the media come to church, disguise yourself as a congregant and find out if we charge people for prayers? We don’t do that.”
Bushiri also shot down reports that his church was noncompliant with building regulations and that it had been given 30 days to comply by the city of Tshwane.
Meanwhile church members gathered outside the offices of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) in Johannesburg on Monday morning in solidarity with Prophet Bushiri.