Succession issues leading to conflicts in several South African churches

Several churches in South Africa have in their constitution a succession plan of who takes over as leader of the church when the incumbent passes away or leaves the position. But these constitutions hardly indicate how this succession takes place.

This is according to Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL).

The constitutions of churches must be very clear about these things (succession plans), in order to prevent a lot of fights within the church that are unnecessary

Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, CRL Commission Chairperson

On Tuesday, the Durban High Court ruled that Vela Shembe is the rightful leader of the Nazareth Baptist Church, popularly known as the Shembe Church.

Since 2011, the Shembe Church has been fractured by two factions led by individuals who have claimed leadership of the church after the death of Vimbeni Shembe.

Vela Shembe leads the Thembelihle faction, while Mduduzi Shembe leads the much larger eBuhleni faction.

What we've discovered is that most constitutions are not very clear on succession plans, which has caused a lot of crisis in the country. Its just that the Shembe issue is a national issue. But you'd be surprised at how many thousands of churches, smaller ones, have a similar problem

Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, CRL Commission Chairperson

Xaluva says that the CRL Commission has made its recommendations for churches to have clarity on succession in their constitutions.

She says that churches in the country need to clarify their constitutions if they are vague about succession plans.

Listen to the conversation below:

In iziHlabelelo it is written that a son must always take over (leadership of the Shembe church). This is what they've been doing all along

Sanele in Pretoria

You have a will that is in place, on the other hand you've got the constitution. The question is which framework between the two should supersede the other one

Lebohang in Rustenburg
Read More
'Haiti is the missing piece in the AU'

'Haiti is the missing piece in the AU'

Ambassador of Haiti to South Africa Jacques Baril describes Haiti's historic relationship with the African continent.

'Having sex will not make you cleverer'

'Having sex will not make you cleverer'

Neurologist Professor Girish Modi describes the effect of sex on one's memory.

Money Matters: Understanding an endowment policy

Money Matters: Understanding an endowment policy

Discovery's Head of Legal Services Harry Joffe describes on #NightTalk relevant information about endowment policies.

How to survive a hostile job interview

How to survive a hostile job interview

Recruitment specialist Candice Martin describes how one can get past a hostile job interview

'State must apologise and compensate Marikana families' - legal representative

'State must apologise and compensate Marikana families' - legal representative

SERI's Nomzamo Zondo describes the process the families of injured and killed Marikana miners have gone through to get compensation from the state.

Recognising the experience of women in South African mines

Recognising the experience of women in South African mines

Dr Asanda Benya has done work to put under the spotlight the role of women in the occupational culture of South African mines.

Popular articles
Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi opens up about his thesis

Ndlozi explains the significance of the the first chapter of his thesis: 'Trauma in the archives'.

Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa cards will be functional beyond expiry date

Sassa says text messages making the rounds asking beneficiaries to come and renew their Sassa cards is a hoax.

Mashaba moves to insource security guards come Jan 2018

Mashaba moves to insource security guards come Jan 2018

Mashaba is also on a mission to identify owners of buildings in the city centre that he says are harbouring criminals.

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?