Jehovah's Witnesses in Centre of Wrangle
By Mbongiseni Ndzimandze
Swazi Observer [Swaziland]
December 1, 2006
A misunderstanding between a pastor of the Jehovah's Witnesses and a member of the Makhwane area in Mbabane has resulted in a house and shop being demolished.
Shop owner Titus Mabilisa is at the centre of the misunderstanding.
Mabilisa is said to have questioned the expulsion of one of the followers of the faith amidst allegations of attempted rape of a minor.
It is alleged that after the misunderstanding Mabilisa decided to expel members of the church from the area.
According to Titus Dlamini, an elder, Mabilisa did not end there but further ordered them to vacate the church building.
He alleged that he would neither confirm nor deny that there was more than meets the eye between Mabilisa and other members of the church.
He denied that the church was involved in the damage to the shop but said it was possible members of the community who sympathised with the church may have been involved.
So serious is the situation that Mabilisa was once taken to court by one of the church members after he allegedly assaulted him and further ordered some of the members out of the building using a bush knife.
He was also restrained by the court from interfering with the church proceedings.
Some of the church members are reported to have entered Mabilisa's house on Thursday last week during the Nicodemus hours where they broke all the windows to gain entry.
Relating the story Mduduzi Mabuza, who was in the house during the attack, said this was not the first time the church members destroyed property, since they once came and vandalised everything while he was asleep.
He said they were now living in fear because the church members allegedly struck at any time during the late hours to destroy property.
"They always come on Thursday when we are asleep and break the windows. The last time they came carrying a spray gun, but I managed to escape," added Mabuza.
He stated that they suspected the church members because it all began after the pastor had a misunderstanding with Mabilisa.
When this newspaper visited the homestead everything inside the house was upside down and all the windows of the main house were dismantled.
When interviewed, one of the residents Gogo Hlophe said they were aware of what was happening between Mabilisa and the church members but not sure of what the bone of contention was.
"The people who are attacking him are doing a bad thing instead the concerned parties should meet and sort this issue amicably," added Hlophe.
It is alleged that everytime there is an attack Mabilisa is not in the house, but the assailtants make sure that they leave everything upside down.
Dlamini said so tense was the situation that they had since relocated to a Makhanya homestead where they were currently worshipping.
Some residents, when interviewed, said they were aware of the controversy between Mabilisa and the Jehovah's Witnesses members.
Mabilisa came to our newsroom to report that he was attacked by the said Christians but had no proof.
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