REACTIONS by the local Christian community to last week’s sensational allegations of physical, emotional and spiritual abuse at the interdenominational kwaSizabantu mission operation near Kranskop have been both searching and sympathetic.
Michael Cassidy, the international team leader for the Pietermaritzburg-based African Enterprise group, said: “I do know that many good and fine things have been achieved there in the past in terms of the many lives positively affected, especially with people suffering from alcoholism or caught up with witchcraft.”
While Cassidy represents the views of many mainstream evangelical Christians, Russell Toohey, a pastor at the New Zion Christian Fellowship in Pietermaritzburg, spoke for Pentecostals and Charismatics.
“They have ploughed themselves selflessly into outreaches to the less privileged, and powerful miracles have taken place there,” said Toohey. “Our church has a minister who would still have been an alcoholic today, but for the care he received at kwaSizabantu.”
But Cassidy and Toohey said that, if the allegations can be proven, kwaSizabantu’s leaders need to seek counselling from within the greater Christian church.
“If kwaSizabantu, or its leadership, have fallen prey to any of what they stand accused, I would expect the leaders to respond to any truth in the allegations and to seek the pastoral counsel of an appropriate group of KZN Christian leaders to help them come right,” said Cassidy.