When members of the Apostolic Faith Mission bought a plot of land in Zwelitsha, Nyanga, many years ago, they thought they would be able to build their church there. But they were wrong.
On December 19, last year residents arrived on the site and tore down the walls which had cost them R70 000 building walls they had started to build over three days to build.
The church had aimed to be in the building by Christmas. But that was not meant to be.
According to Reverend Gordon Gcanga of the Faith Mission, his congregation had been instructed to demolish their building by people who,
he said, had been drunk and unaware that the church owned the land.
He claimed they also torched a church member’s car.
“Our situation is bad. We firstly had an altercation with the previous local committee who was not sure about the ownership of the land. But when the new committee came in it needed proof. We took them to the City of Cape Town and asked to be given proof. They then allowed us to build after that. Then came the young people who mostly were in their 30s and demolished the building,” said Reverend Gcanga.
Reverend Sonny Tyatyam has lambasted those involved and called for the perpetrators to be arrested.
“I have never seen such behavior in Zwelitsha. It made me doubt that those were Zwelitsha residents. But the law should take its course. Police should arrest them,” he said.
He said the church had photos of the perpetrators.
Zwelitsha local committee member David Tshambula also condemned the incident and called on the police to take swift action.
“I believe a charge has been laid by the church but it is for them to confirm that. But I am shocked that no action has been taken thus far. These boys also smashed my house windows. I did not lay a charge. But I believe that a step should be taken against them. They were so unruly and out of line,” said Mr Tshambula.
He said the plot belongs to the church and there is proof.
The City’s Property Management Department confirmed that the property was registered in the name of the Apostolic Faith Mission, with ownership having been transferred in 2016.
Vukani asked Nyanga police about the incident, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded to the query.
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