There’s been outrage over pictures, first published on Facebook, showing the man known as Pastor Penuell Mnguni allegedly driving a car over the bodies of sleeping members of his congregation.
The photographs show what look like cardboard or wooden planks being placed over these two people, before he drives a car over them.
Stephen Grootes talks to Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva, chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion of the rights of Cultural Religious & Linguistic Communities. The Commission has been investigating these unconventional church practices.
We need to be sure whether these photos have not been photo shopped. So we are going to be issuing a summons today to ask Pastor Mnguni to come over to us and explain what was happening there.— Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva, Chairperson Commission for the Promotion of the rights of Cultural Religious & Linguistic Communities
Mkhwanazi says if the photographs are real, the Commission's next step will be to go to the Equality Court.
Because we feel the rights of Christians as a whole are being violated in the sense that you have the right to your religion being protected and being respected.— Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva, Chairperson Commission for the Promotion of the rights of Cultural Religious & Linguistic Communities
She says if it proves to be true, they want the Equality Court to make a ruling in the interim, while they wait for legislation to be passed that will protect religions from such actions.
Stephen Grootes said he was surprised Mkhwanazi had not expressed concern for the two people allegedly driven over by the car. She responded that they were willing participants. If they were not willing, they would have laid criminal charges against him.
She says in the past congregants have asked them not to interfere, as they support the actions of the church they are involved in.
Listen to the interview below: