Before we try and answer this question we need to explain what is meant by Zionism. In S.A . there is an indigenous movement among the African people who call themselves Zionists. Ziyoni or Sayoni is taken from the Biblical name Zion. It would seem that when it originally started the gospel was preached, but that it soon veered off into all kinds of errors. I only know it in it’s present form. This movement has nothing to do with Israel or the Jews.
Because there are untold brands of Zionism in S.A, it may be going too far to say that all of them are taboo, but it is generally accepted that the Zionists, in one degree or another, are a strange mixture of Christian doctrine and African cultural practices, like ancestry worship and divination etc etc. Although a Zionist will tell you he has been converted, one will find them still holding onto their traditional ways, but they give their old practices Christian names.
1) Ukubhula (Divination) is now called prophecy.
2) Inkonzo yokubuyisa (an African custom of bringing the deceased spirit back) is now called a memorial service.
3) A diviner is called a prophet. These diviners or prophets are often the ones to whom the people go to find out why they are sick and who it is who put a curse on them and caused them to be sick, or who is their enemy etc etc.
One can quote many more examples; however, as I have already mentioned, there are numerous groups- some will err in one direction, while others will err more in another direction.
In my years of experience and watching them, I must confess, that although I could not go along with their doctrines and beliefs, I cannot but admire their dedication and commitment, if only it was directed to the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Someone may ask, “Is Jesus left out of the whole scene?” Well, yes and no! Jesus often gets quoted and mentioned. And also, in everyday life, when someone responds to what is said in a conversation, he/she will respond by saying “we Jesu” (i.e. Oh Jesus) and not necessarily in a derogatory manner but rather in either a neutral way, or even in an appealing way “Jesus please help!” At least, this is how I understand it. But I have often detected among them the same spirit that operates in the Sangomas (witches) and I have heard it said by the Zionists themselves that the Sangomas have a gift from God and therefore may not be rejected.
Now back to our question: “Has K.S.B. got its roots in Zionism?” I will relate things that I have observed and heard and the reader may make up his/her own mind.
1) When we first came to Maphumulo where the so called revival started, some of the local African people used to say “We recognise this spirit that Magasa (Hilda) has, it comes from Mavundla the Zionist.” When I first heard it, I dismissed it as nonsense, but after observing what was taking place over a period of time, I saw it as a distinct possibility and wondered whether it wasn’t true.
2) Now, recently, I spoke to a cousin of mine whom I had not seen in years (in fact many years). He told me a rather interesting thing. He visited his uncle who was very ill (this is approximately 30 years ago) and his aunt told him that Erlo told her that he went to the Zionists to see how they were doing things and to see whether he couldn’t learn something from them. This was even all the more amazing that he should share this with me as I had not mentioned the Zionists. (This cousin had no connections with K.S.B. He was never part of them, but remembers that well.)
3) Recently I phoned a lady who used to be part of the work at Maphumulo some 30 years ago, and who, because she questioned some things, was rejected. We were speaking about K.S.B. and she was expressing her gratitude to God for now taking the matter in hand and revealing the truth to the world about them. Then she added “Lo uyazi ukuthi saxoshwa ngenxa yezilimi zaka Mavundla” In English “Surely you know that we were chased away, because of the tongues of Mavundla.” Mavundla was the Zionist. This lady blamed the entire thing on the Zionist roots which she alleges were the cause of them acting with such hostility against us.This was all the more amazing as, like the previous incident, I had not mentioned the Zionist.
4) Many people declare that Hilda was a Zionist when she was young. Apparently this was before she married into the Dube family. The Dubes were Lutherans so after her marriage she joined the Lutherans (whether she was compelled to join or whether she did it voluntarily, one does not know.) This early connection could have been an open door for Zionism to enter if it was not there all along. Be that as it may, it is difficult to conclusively link K.S.B. with Zionism, especially because they don’t practice ancestry worship, but I believe that the whole movement was rooted in Zionism, because there are so many similarities there. As I have said earlier, there are different brands of Zionism, and they don’t all practice the same things.
5) The similarities are as follows:
a.) The Zionists are strong on confessions of sin (they call it ukuhlambululwa) and so is K.S.B. The way they practice it brings the people under fearful bondage.
b.) The Zionist leaders bind people to themselves and so does K.S.B. One finds a tremendous dedication to the leadership which seems to be bordering on worship. The loyalty of their followers is such that they cannot and will not listen to another point of view.
c.) The Zionists promote many African traditions and so does K.S.B. who, for example, practice virginity testing.
d.) The Zionists have often beaten people physically to get the demons out, and it would seem that K.S.B. has a similar concept, and that could account for the severe corporal punishments meted out to children. Children as young as 5 or 6 years old were beaten that their backs were full of swollen stripes that were bleeding in places.
e.) The Zionists take dreams very seriously and take their direction from them (animists do the same) and so does K.S.B. At Maphumulo (and during that time) they would often spend whole meetings preaching on a dream or dreams and expounding them to the people. God does speak through dreams, but dreams also come from the wrong source, so it is necessary to exercise extreme caution, and when they are elevated above God’s word, then know that there will be problems there, and that is what K.S.B. did.
At Maphumulo the dreams would come like a flood and were given to various people to show them where they stood spiritually. At one time I was handed as many as five (or was it six?) of these dreams, and to try and decipher what they meant was like trying to understand nightmares, because they were so confusing. These dreams came from Lydia (Thofozi), Hilda, Josfina and others. And what has become of these dreamers and prophetesses now? What about the greatest and holiest of them all who was granted access into heaven after she died? She went through all kinds of thorough tests before Lydia was allowed into heaven. (Her story is found in the book “God among the Zulus) but because she was so holy, righteous and clean she was allowed in but because she still had work to do on earth she was sent back. Surely the arranging of this despicable kidnapping drama, where an innocent person was nearly killed, was that the work she was sent back to do? How could anyone ever trust people like that? If they are capable of doing such things how can one believe anything they tell one?
f.) Whether Zionists go into trances I do not know. I cannot therefore say that Hilda definitely got it from the Zionists, but where does it come from? The African brethren seem to believe that it comes from the Zionists. Before Hilda goes into a trance she speaks in tongues, and then sinks into the trance. She then, according to Erlo, is in a state where he can enquire of the Lord through her and that is where he gets his instructions from. The black brethren believe these tongues come from the Zionists.
g.) I have found the Zionists to be not too concerned about the truth, very much like K.S.B. They believe in situational ethics. If they feel they are protecting God’s work, or promoting it, then lying is permissible and therefore they lie often.
h.) The Zionists are very legalistic. They keep many of the Old Testament laws (like not eating pork).
K.S.B. are also very legalistic but they call their laws the standards of revival and that they cannot be backed up by Scripture is not serious.
i.) However the greatest defect in these two systems is that Jesus Christ is not central, and that is the cause of all the errors. The cross of Calvary with all that it stands for is lacking. Our identification with Christ in His death and resurrection is not understood and therefore not preached. Instead they have introduced their method of confession of sin. Even the rebirth was ridiculed at Maphumulo but in latter times they have been more careful as this gave them bad publicity.
Has K.S.B.got its roots in Zionism? All that I can say is that the many similarities and all the evidence points that way and I don’t find it difficult to believe, but let each one come to his/her own conclusion.
May the Lord through His Holy Spirit give us discernment and insight that we may not be mislead for Christ’s sake! Amen!