Nazareth Baptist Church Ebuhleni faction calls for government intervention

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Thousands of church members marched in Durban on Tuesday to show their support for their current leader, Mduduzi Shembe, better known as Unyazi Lwezulu.

FILE: Nearly 50,000 worshipers from the Baptist Church of Nazareth, also known as the Shembe Church, leave their church in Ebuhleni, 45 km north of Durban for their pilgrimage. Photo: AFP

DURBAN – Members of the Baptist Church in Nazareth have said they cannot have a leader chosen by the courts.

Thousands of church members marched in Durban on Tuesday to show their support for their current leader, Mduduzi Shembe, better known as Unyazi Lwezulu.

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In June of this year, the Constitutional Court rejected Unyazi’s request, appointing his cousin, Vela Shembe, as his legitimate successor.

However, members of Ebuhleni do not have it. One of Durban’s busiest streets, Dr Pixely ka Seme, was paralyzed as members of Ebuhleni took to a march.

The organizer of the march Nkosinathi Makhanya called for the intervention of the national government.

“Our grievances, that we want the president to receive and ensure that they are taken into account and that our constitutional right is not compromised,” he said.

The church’s battle for leadership dates back to 2011 after the death of leader Vimbeni Shembe.

And although the Supreme Court said Vela was the rightful successor, members of Ebuhleni said they would only recognize Unyazi.

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