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Church Attack

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posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 01:19 PM
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By JOHNSON MESI

WHEN Maria Ndamane (64) was summoned to the Salvation Church in Makhaza to collect her money, little did she think it could be a trap to catch her and beat her for demanding the money owed to her by her eldest son.

Ndamane alleges she was beaten, kicked and verbally abused for four hours by members of the church, and has suffered multiple injuries and internal bleeding.

The old woman claims the trouble started when she asked her eldest son (known to City Vision) to pay back R1 600 she says he owed her. The money was for a wendy house she had sold to her son to live in with his wife (also known to City Vision).


Ndamane explained she is unemployed and has three other children, including a mentally handicapped 22 year-old son to look after. She lives in a one-roomed shack in Makhaza with him.

Ndamane said, after months of pleading, she was finally told to come to the Salvation Church were her son is an assistant to the pastor.

She said the incident happened on Wedneday, 25 November, during daylight.

She claimed on arriving there she was told to wait outside the premises for her son.

"Instead my son's wife appeared and told me to go inside because the priest wanted to see me," she said.

Ndamane said at the same time the congregation was busy preparing for the opening of the day sermon.

She said while this process was going on her son's wife fell down, allegedly faking a fit, screaming and calling her name as well as those of other women who were not there and accusing them of bewitching her.

She said as this unfolded she was sitting down in a chair, unaware her son's wife was pointing and accusing her of being a witch in front of the congregation.

What was even worse, she maintained, was that her eldest son was present at the time this happened and simply watched, saying nothing.

Ndamane said then, instead of receiving her money, she was attacked by the whole congregation, including her son.

"They all screamed and shouted at me that I should be burnt to death because I was a witch," she told City Vision.

Ndamane claimed she was abused for a number of hours and even kicked. When they finished they chased her out of the church premises.

Ndamane said she had to leave the church without the money: "It was a well planned strategy by my son and the priest of the church to get rid of me, hoping I would never go back again and ask for money," she claimed.

Ndamane said she went to lay a charge of assasult at Harare police station.

The old woman was taken to have X-rays at Nomsa Maponganwa day hospital to determine the extent of her injuries.

Pastor Khaya Maseko of the Salvation Church said he was shocked and suprised by the allegations against the church.

He denied the assault ever took place at his church.

Maseko said more than a thousand people attend his church and everyone is welcome into the church.

He said his church is there to help pray for people, and not for beating them.

Captain Ntsikelelo Dada of the Khayelitsha police confirmed the pastor and Ndamane's son and wife were taken to the Khayelitsha police station, and later to the magistrate's court on Monday.

He said a charge of common assault was laid against the three accused. The case was postponed and at press time the accused were to appear again on Tuesday.

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