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New laws to tackle commericalisation of religion in SA: report

New laws to tackle commericalisation of religion in SA: report

Government plans to introduce legislation to regulate faith-based organisations in South Africa, in an effort to cut down on religious leaders who are making millions of rands through legal loopholes.

According to a report by the Cape Argus, the new legislation will be heard in parliament in June 2017 following an analysis of the public complaints and interviews by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission).

“We are not disputing that there are still some good religious leaders out there, but as a country we are also faced with a challenge of people who run churches like family businesses and no one questions them on how the church’s money is spent,” said Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi- Xaluva.

“We also have those who abuse their power and make congregants do all sort of things like drinking petrol and eating snakes. We can’t have things like that happening but they will continue if the industry remains unregulated.”

According to Mkhwanazi- Xaluva, the commission found numerous examples where people are expected to pay substantial amounts of money before blessings and prayers. It also found numerous other prima facie cases of commercialisation of religion including blessed water and oils are sold to congregants and leaders who would only offer services if a fixed amount is met.

The announcement arrives a day after hundreds of thousands of people flocked to a private farm in Bloemfontein to listen to popular evangelist Angus Buchan conduct a prayer meeting.

According to the Argus, numerous well-known figures were in attendance including Mmusi Maimaine, wife Natalie, TV personality Michael Mol and ACDP leader Kenneth Moshoe.


Correction –  a previous version of this article, as reported by the Cape Argus, claimed that Angus Buchan owned a private jet. This is not the case.

Read: National Minimum Wage will make SA jobs crisis worse


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  • Jan Vosloo

    I object to the picture of Angus that is published with this article. The prayer meeting in Bloemfontein was 100% free. Not even a collection was held. Just imagine the potential income that could’ve be raised if you asked a million people for donations – but they specifically did NOT have any collection to prevent people from saying it is a money making scheme. Any person wanting to make money from “religion” would not have missed this opportunity.

    • Broscientist

      then why is he flying in his own private jet???

      • mike

        Its not his private jet. Someone sent a plane for him to pick him up.

        • Broscientist

          I am just quoting the article: “The announcement arrives a day after hundreds of thousands of
          people flocked to a private farm in Bloemfontein to hear
          popular evangelist Angus Buchan preach – who touched down on the farm on
          his private jet.”

          • mike

            Quote: “people are expected to pay substantial amounts of money before blessings and prayers.” Which is not true, no offerings were asked at his event. So why believe them when they say it is his own jet?

          • Broscientist

            That quote didn’t refer to Angus’ event.

          • The article was not fact checked. Just like Huffington Post

          • Broscientist

            It’s sad. Because from an outsider like me it looks like a pretty bad reflection on Angus part from the way the article was written.

      • Joe

        I believe this report to be fallacious. I have not ever heard of “Oom” Angus having a private jet. He was flown in in a helicopter, I was there, but even that was not his own, to my knowledge.
        He is a farmer and makes a living from farming.
        There wasn’t even anywhere to land a jet on the farm, suggesting that the jet was “his” and that it landed on the farm (that farm) was mischievous and incorrect.
        I’m also not arguing that some are wolves in sheep clothing, but not Angus Buchan and I insist that the writer of the article post a correction.

        • Gary Deetlefs

          Perception is reality. I guess those who have been a part of the journey and experienced it first hand will see it differently to arm chair critics. As the Bible says, You can tell a person’s heart by what they say, and I add, what they write. Sad.

        • Bert Verlinde

          You are missing the point of the article, which is that religious evangelists are extremely wealthy, like Angus, who does own a private jet as far as I know.

    • Bert Verlinde

      Shame, an objection. Pray for it to go away.

  • Madimetsha

    ” Their club, their rules”…..stolen.

  • Madimetsha

    Saw this guy on TV, whats with the horse though?

    • Defollyant

      Yes, they’re showing the wrong end of the horse…

    • It’s one of his publicity pics. He has a horse in the “Faith Like Potatoes” movie. He didn’t take it to the event.

    • Fanandala

      Padkos?

  • Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

    Where does the government get off telling me how to run my religion? If I declare myself to be a god, who is qualified to disprove that?

    • Nkalanga

      Its not telling you how to run your religion…Its putting a stop to religious leaders who abuse and exploit the gullible individuals. You can be a god all you want, we would prefer you keep it to youself though.

      • Tuesday Is Soylent Green Day

        But my religion demands a 10% tithe of its followers…is that milking them or simply securing their place in heaven. BTW I am being as sarcastic AF. Frankly, the world would be a better place without the god botherers.

        • chunk

          Religion the worlds oldest Ponzi scheme.

  • NosySnoopy

    This, but they are slow to react, if at all, if one of the other churches uses Doom on people.

  • chunk

    Religion the worlds oldest Pyramid scheme.

  • Cheesy 3.0

    I wonder if this will apply to the ‘Church’ of Scientology … ?

  • Antonio da Cruz

    Horrid reporting starting with an image of a pastor that does free hope peddling. The image should be one of the horrid African hope peddlars that take a payment up front from the economically most vulnerable. The Nigerian hope peddlars are on every street corner fleecing the illiterate sheep like there is gonna be no tomorrow. Regulate them out of business asap.

  • John Enslin

    Another bit of disinformation being sped. I wonder who paid for the reporter’s lunch this time?

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