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Former missionary threatened

A FORMER senior missionary at the kwaSizabantu Mission in Kranskop said that he has been threatened following reports in the press about abusive practices at the mission and its links to the apartheid security forces.

Koos Greeff, who now lives in the Cape, told the Witness that he received a call from a callbox late on Tuesday evening from someone calling himself Themba, who is an SA National Defence Force member based in George.

“He said that he was an MK [Mkhonto Wesizwe] member that came to kwaSizabantu mission and came to repentance through my ministry.”

After accusing Greeff of “being behind” the press reports, Themba said in “words more or less like this: ‘I know your son Markus and your daughter Monika and the little girls Annemarie and Ronelle. What will you do if Markus is no longer here tomorrow?’ That was the end of our conversation,” said Greeff.

A former head of the mission’s security service phoned Greeff on Sunday “and asked me whether it was necessary to answer the media so correctly”, saying there are “wise” ways to answer them.

“I told him that this is called deceit and that Satan is the deceiver. I shall lie no more.”

Another prominent leader at the mission also phoned Greeff on Monday, accusing him of orchestrating the “attacks” on the mission and then urged him to “reconcile” with “Uncle Erlo [Stegen, the mission head] and Uncle Friedel [his brother]”.

“I told her that I will be reconciled with them only if they are prepared to speak the truth. I shall lie no more,” said Greeff.

Scores of former members of the kwaSizabantu Mission have spoken out in the past two weeks about beatings they received and the fear that was instilled in them by the methods employed there.

Several have also spoken of the close links between the mission and the security forces in opposing the struggle for democracy.

Some people have praised the mission’s achievements in education but have expressed concern about the allegations of abuse.