Bishop Stephen Zondo has come out strongly that he is not demonic, a murderer, and doesn’t belong to any cult nor does he practice witchcraft.
“I went to a Bible school and I’m bishop Zondo from Evaton. Those other labels I do not have,” he said.
On Friday, 20 November, the leader of Rivers of Living Waters Ministries told members of the media that the allegations of sexual and financial abuse made against him and his church were baseless and false.
“I would like to make it clear that from the onset our church has been built on a solid foundation of respect, integrity and trust. In the furtherance of the foregoing, sexual harassment or abuse of any kind are not tolerated in our church,” said the bishop.
This comes after the CRL Rights commission held a hearing to look into allegations of sexual and financial abuse against Zondo and his pastors.
In the past weeks, the commission heard explosive testimonies from former members of the church including a family member, who further accused Zondo of having supernatural powers from his holy oil.
The commission said a notice was also sent to Zondo about the hearing and that he would be called to respond on a day still to be determined.
Zondo said: “The oil that we use in the church is not muthi. We get it from where they sell it as it is and all we do we package it and sanctify it by praying over it. It has never been used in the manner in which they are saying.
“The Lord has promoted us. Now we are referred to as members of a cult and practicing witchcraft. Why is it that when a black man seems to succeed in life, he must be demonised?
“We are called names and accused of practicing witchcraft because we are growing. When a white church raises funds and makes money and have beautiful buildings, it is a man of God. But when it’s a black person, he is accused of killing people to get money.”
Zondo further denied allegations of engaging sexually with his children, adding that he wished his day in court would come.
He also accused the commission of inciting violence by solely depending on the testimony provided by a certain group of former members of his church who have been attacking his reputation since 2011. He said the commission relied on the same group of people to provide them with contacts and physical addresses of more witnesses.
Zondo said, through his lawyers, he has lodged a complaint with Parliament Speaker Thandi Modise against the commission members and its chairman Professor David Mosoma.
“The allegations are baseless, demeaning, insulting and more importantly are in violation of the constitutional rights of the archbishop and the members of the church.
"The hearing by the commission is antithetical to the very objects of the commission,” he said.
Zondo said the hearing did not promote respect, peace and humanity.
He said they were requesting the establishment of an investigation for the removal of Mosoma and members of the commission.
Responding to the rape cases opened against Zondo, his lawyer Jeffrey Rahlagane said there were over 100 claims of rape against Zondo but only three cases were opened and they were still waiting for investigations.