SHEMBE LEADERS BIG LOSS!

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Ebuhleni faction leader Mduduzi Shembe has been in a battle for control of the church for 10 years.   Photo by Jabulani Langa
Ebuhleni faction leader Mduduzi Shembe has been in a battle for control of the church for 10 years. Photo by Jabulani Langa

INKOSI Mduduzi “Nyazilwezulu” Shembe of the Shembe Church’s Ebuhleni faction has lost another round against his uncle “Imisebeyelanga” Shembe of the Thembezinhle faction.

The Constitutional Court on Tuesday, 22 June, dismissed Mduduzi’s appeal of a Supreme Court decision to uphold the Durban and Pietermaritzburg high courts’ findings against him.

The battle for control of the church, which has over four million members and is worth millions of rands, has been ongoing for 10 years.

The succession battle began in 2011 after two announcements over who’d take over were made at the funeral of late church leader, Vimbeni “Thingolwenkosazana” Shembe.

At the funeral, Emaqadini chief Mqoqi Ngcobo, who was close to Vimbeni, stood up and said Vimbeni had told him his successor should be his son Mduduzi.

A short while after that, Vimbeni’s lawyer, Zwelabantu Buthelezi, announced he’d written a letter signed by the late leader which nominated Vela as successor. They took each other to court to establish who the rightful leader was.

Thembezinhle faction lawyer Trevor Nkosi said: “A total of nine judges ruled in our favour. This means the judges at the Durban and Pietermaritzburg high courts were right.”

Asked what would happen next, he said one would expect the loser to voluntarily leave the Ebuhleni headquarters.

“If that doesn’t happen we’ll see what needs to be done next.”

Ebuhleni faction spokesman Thokozani Mncwabe said: “We’re waiting for our legal team to present the outcome to Nyazilwezulu.”

He said members should continue going to church provided Mduduzi told them otherwise.

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