Church members get rough with reporter

Hendrick Mphande
Hendrick Mphande

A GROUP of Bantu Church of Christ members grabbed a reporter from The Herald and aggressively demanded that he reveal the names of sources quoted in a story last week about alleged torture at the church.

The 10 men, including a minister with a clerical collar, confiscated journalist Hendrick Mphande’s car keys and cellphone and threatened to hold him until he gave up the names of the people who “spoke badly about uTatomkhulu [the bishop]” in the article, published last Monday.

“You must tell us [who they are] and supply us with contact numbers of everyone who spoke to you anonymously in your report,” they said threateningly.

“You will go nowhere until you give us the names of those people.”

Their intimidatory tactics came after the sources, who had asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, told how at least four people were allegedly stripped naked, beaten with whips and sprayed with water on Sunday last week as an irate group of about nine men demanded to know the whereabouts of a man who had fallen out with Bishop John Bolana.

-Zandile Mbabela and Hendrick Mphande

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