THE Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities called on prophet Shepherd Bushiri to explain what happened at his church when three people died in a stampede last week.
But the prophet didn’t arrive. He sent a representative to the meeting yesterday between the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church and the South African National Civic Organisation.
The commission mediated at a meeting between the two parties at their office in Braamfontein, Joburg. Bushiri was expected to provide answers following the death of three women at his church. The meeting followed several protests by members of the civic organisation, calling for the church to be shut down. Three members of the civic organisation were bust for public violence during a protest and later released on R500 bail each.
On Monday Portia Mokwena, a regional secretary of the civic organisation in Tshwane, said Bushiri’s church would not operate until he explained what happened.
The protests were sparked by the deaths of three women – Patricia Pringane (59), Matshila Mohlala (69), and Lehlogahlo Maria Segodi (60). Nine other church members were hurt.
The commission said after extensive talks, the parties agreed to an immediate end to hostilities on both sides. The commission said it will have talks with the church on possible support for the bereaved families, and give the civic organisation time to consult and update its constituency.
Bushiri’s lawyer, Baloyi Ntsako, and Abram Mashishi, treasurer of the civic organisation, said a follow-up meeting was scheduled for next week.