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Open letter to Kjell Olsen at Kwasizabantu

by Somerset Morkel


In essence this letter has the same contents as my letter to you dated 28 April 2000, to which, sadly, I have not had a response, in spite of several reminders over the months gone by.

I could not but come to the conclusion that you have deliberately ignored my letter to you, rather not (hopefully) out of your own conviction, but probably per instruction of the Kwasizabantu leadership.

This has greatly saddened me, because by deliberately ignoring me and the issues I addressed, you have further strengthened the convictions that I express in the letter.

I now have no choice but to send it as an open letter to the church body of Jesus Christ, our Lord, so that my concerns can be part of the open debate with you and with the Kwasizabantu leadership.

Sadly, such are the days we live in.

This is not what I wished, and I am sure that I will now receive more notes and letters from naive Kwasizabantu supporters who think I am following Satan.

This gives me – and others – great pain, because it seems to be the underlying reaction of those under influence of the Kwasizabantu theology.

And it confirms the elements of the letter I wrote to you on April 28, as embodied in the text hereunder.

If I may ask: Please do not debate the contects of this letter on the level of procedures – we are far beyond that point with Kwasizabantu , as has been clearly indicated and demonstrated by the Kwasizabantu leadership in your refusal to meet with the leadership of the churches that were sincerely and truthfully seeking to understand all sides. That was a very unwise decision, because it effectively caused you to be per definition guilty in absentia. It also showed the disdain for clear Scriptural procedures and the Kwasizabantu leadership’s refusal to bow to authority instituted by God. By redefining Scriptural imperatives in justifying the Kwasizabantu position, the leadership there has slid further down the slippery slope towards the point of no return.

When an institution such as Kwasizabantu refuses to cooperate in such a matter, it is clear to those outside Kwasizabantu how far matters have indeed progressed.

The unfortunate result of this is that the destructive “hawks” gain the advantage over those who have been in the process to save what can be saved, and to minimize the potentially destructive drive inherent in any such a situation such as this.

This refers to both the destructive drive in the circles of those opposed to Kwasizabantu, as well as of the hang to self-destruction within the Kwasizabantu leadership – which they cannot see themselves, because they will not see it. Those that have seen it (the Greeffs, the Dahls, the Mabasos, and others), have done the only thing they could under the circumstances: they left – at great cost to themselves.

But at least they retained their integrity, and in the process made a stand for the right worship of God, namely in Spirit and in Truth.

It is always a pity that those within such a situation as Kwasizabantu do not see it themselves.

You stated in your latest e-mail to me that “……..when a group, like yourselves, believe that a church (like
ourselves) has gone astray, then it is to be expected that cult-like silence will be the norm. A pre-conceived idea is being fed and you will find yourself looking for circumstances to “confirm” suspicions. Actually, it is not Kwasizabantu which has changed (we preach the same Gospel and God continues to bless and enlarge His work) but, I increasingly come to believe, that some of you have changed because of the spirit of the times.”

If one person was looking towards, and really praying for, a grip of reality by both sides in this debate, it is I.

But, in view of what I have heard and seen of the way Kwasizabantu handles – and reacts to – irrevocable evidence of wrongs committed, I nearly came to despair. But I will not, because I know that God alone can, and will, open the eyes of His elect to the deception of the age we are in, whether that deception lies within us, or around us. Therefor I will be in constant prayer for you.

Earlier this year I have written to you that you could share this letter with whomever you wish, but that essentially it was a letter from a friend to a friend, from a brother to a brother, in true sincerity and Christian love.

I told you that it was not part of a tactic or some strategy, or an intellectual treatise – it was, and is, my heart brought to you.

Unfortunately the brotherly spirit in which I sent it to you, was not honoured, and I reluctantly now have to take the next step, which is to inform the wider body of the Lord of my concerns. I am of opinion that you could not afford to reply, and I understand it.

It is a painful exercise I am going through, because – humanly spoken – it is a damaging one. It will further damage our personal relationship, which over the years has been of great value and inspiration to me, but which I cannot, and should not, ever put above my duty to what God asks me to do, whether you think it to be as a result of the spirit of the world in my life, or not.

It will be with time the inevitable result that you will have to acknowledge that you have been wrong, as those mentioned above have come to see in their own lives – They took the step of honour, and left, when repentance was not forthcoming within the structures where they worked and lived, and they could not further be associated with the darkness and deception within the structures and the lives of the leadership of Kwasizabantu.


These must be difficult times for you concerning Kwasizabantu, with all the statements flying around, and the action and controversy surrounding it – and some strong men of God leaving the fold.

The wheels have started to turn, and they will slowly grind away, until the truth is there for all to see.

You are a key figure in all this, whether you know it or not.

I have heard your name mentioned many a time in discussions about Kwasizabantu.


Mostly it was mentioned with respect for your integrity, although much of it has changed since you helped defend things that were indefensible, and had to change your statement about matters under discussion (such as beatings in the school – where the blame was shifted to the parents, and virginity testing – where the blame was shifted to Zulu custom and culture). Kjell, don’t you SEE it?

I believe a number of people have lost their high view of your integrity in this process, and it has done your reputation as a man of truth, considerable damage, the extent of which is not clear yet, but it suffices to say that a number of very believable people are at this stage putting a question mark over the level of wisdom, integrity and discernment in your life.


There is some understanding, however, for the almost impossible position you find yourself in.

I am one of those who have an inkling of understanding for the tight spot you are in, and within which you just do not have any room for manoeuvring, whatever excuses might be brought up.

The problem is Kjell, that God does not excuse us if we are in situations that are tight.

He expects us to be witnesses, to be soldiers, for His truth in that situation, even if it costs us our heads, or leads to hardship and rejection.

He certainly does not want us to compromise truth in the name of whatever “good work” is being done in His Name. He knows that such compromises will eventually undermine His Name, and will bring others to slander His holy Name, and will bring His Kingdom and children into disrepute.

There are certain things that cannot be ignored, even though they might be denied, as is currently happening with the Kwasizabantu issue (and has happened all along, as I found out as I researched the matter during these past three years).


God allows things to go on until the measure is full – His time is perfect. He will send messengers from outside to warn, he will speak through his Spirit by people within, and by people who leave, and he will gracefully always give time to rectify the things that are not right in His eyes – until a perfect time, after which His judgement starts to work, again according to a perfect plan.


I do not have to tell you about the judgement issue – Kwasizabantu uses it abundantly, and in fact misuses it for own measures, opinions and means. This letter is not meant as a threat, as I have read it in the letters I have received from people defending Kwasizabantu, and heard the Stegens (Erlo and Friedl) say on many occasions.

In all of these, the judgement of God is threatened against those that go against Kwasizabantu, and the work of Kwasizabantu is equalled with the work of God in every respect.

It has to be clear: This is not the way I come to you, and I do not wish to manipulate you in any way so that you will listen to me – not even by threatening judgement.


If you do not listen to me, it is OK.

I am not the measure by which God will measure, I am simply a messenger, and a weak one at that.

But please take the time to listen and to contemplate on what I bring to you.

I know that by now you regard me as an enemy of the work: All the more due to the untrue stories that have been spread about me since the Urgent Plea document, and the Letter to the Church in February of this year.

One such story is that I am New Age, because of my alleged involvement with Mensana in Pretoria – I was warned against Mensana by Elsa Bosman, and took it to heart. In June 1998 a group of us walked out of Mensana when we got to the heart of their ways, and they would not change. I have not had any contact with Mensana since. Mensana has since then gone into decline, and is now virtually non-existent. Unfortunately Kwasizabantu supporters such as Elsa are still spreading the story, thereby promoting a lie. But I was aware beforehand that disinformation would be part of the game, and I am no stranger to the effects of it. It is just a pity that Christians who profess to be serious about God’s truth, can go around with lies, just to defend their own position. It is a tragic manifestation of weakness within the church.

I fully understand that your position will be such, and in fact I sympathise with your viewpoint, because had I been in your position, or of anyone else at Kwasizabantu, I would not have believed differently about Sommie Morkel. (This letter should make it clear to you why I think this way).

I know that there will be no way that I will be able to convince you that I am still Kjell Olsen’s friend, and that I still love you as my dear brother, and that I still pray for you with real love and compassion in my heart, and that my heart aches for this whole issue, and the pain it causes throughout in the hearts of those for, and those against.


There are those whom I have met who are bent on the destruction of Kwasizabantu, and wish it to be rooted out. They are the ones with the bitter-heart-agenda. But I have found them to be a minority in the field of those currently in the debate around the Kwasizabantu issue. Some are verily vociferous critics of Kwasizabantu, yes, but many of them would still, when we sit down and the public rhetoric has died down, acknowledge their deep seated wish that things would come right…….


The failure in the current struggle is that these people have been damned by the Kwasizabantu leadership. Kwasizabantu fails to recognise that it has allies in the midst of perceived enemies of the work. These people (I am one of them) have no choice: only truth will unite them with Kwasizabantu again. The problem is, as long as the Kwasizabantu leadership regards Kwasizabantu as the standard of truth, and will not clearly acknowledge sins in its midst – not as part of a tactic, as in the past – there will not be reconciliation.


I am not going to argue with you about details, because we will be arguing forever. It suffices to tell you, Kjell, that the evidence is clear, and it is hard evidence – that there is something seriously wrong with the Kwasizabantu leadership. If you do not see it, and/or will not acknowledge it, it is fine, but you will have to acknowledge it one day, sooner or later. The later it becomes, the harder it will be. If you do not see it, I fear for you, my dearest friend at Kwasizabantu, because you have then been bewitched, as the Galatians once were. And do not tell me that you cannot be deceived – I told you before, no one is above that.


You are really a clever man, Kjell, and I mean this honestly and seriously. God has given you great talents, more than most people in this life. I regard you as one of the most talented people I have ever met in my life – and I have met great ones all over the world.

But there is one talent which is still to be tested, and is being tested in these times, and that is your latent talent to break into truth notwithstanding the odds against you, and to stand up against what you know to be wrong, and not excuse it because of the Kwasizabantu standard (or law?) of defending “the work”, but to raise to God’s standard – which is higher that the Kwasizabantu standard, by the way.


One serious mistake which the Kwasizabantu leadership made during the past years, stands as a landmark of causes that led to this whole matter coming to the fore: the way Trevor Dahl and his family were dealt with.

Again, I do not wish to go into details, but I can state unequivocally that I did not trust him when he left Kwasizabantu. I ordered his tapes and listened to every one of them. I met with him on a number of occasions to test him (he did not know this). I also spoke to others about him (also with Uncle Erlo – which the latter now denies). I found him to be walking the way of the Lord Jesus Christ in truth and in righteousness. I found that he took the high road by leaving Kwasizabantu, not the low road. And I was not the only one to have researched the matter surrounding his departure, and tested him. Today I without hesitation call him one of the most godly and inspiring men in my circle of close friends. He has his weaknesses, but he has grown in godliness, I tell you. His integrity is without blemish – and all the more so for the way he has walked with God in the face of great pain because of downright devilish lies told about him and his family, and the character assassination that accompanied it.

It made me sick in my heart and in my insides to hear these things – and to hear how naive supporters of Kwasizabantu believed them, and spread them further: It meant that they were spreading a lie, or lies, for truth, and selling it down the line because they believed the source (Kwasizabantu) to be truthful.

What a calamity. What a tragedy.


When we eventually decided to act, we had to drag Trevor Dahl in kicking and screaming, so to say, because he still wanted to be careful not to damage the good work done by Kwasizabantu. Ironically, he throughout was the diplomat, and we were the warriors. We eventually had to have him (figuratively spoken) either to go home (as the diplomats do when war breaks out), or to take a stand for truth, and leave whatever damage would be done, in the hands of a merciful God – because God did never hesitate to smite his people, good and bad, to the ground when they as a group were on the way of deception, but built them up again after they repented…. Only then did Trevor Dahl relent, and made his contribution to the document, under great pain of heart for himself.


The truth is painful, also for those who are on the side of it, for truth breaks through every defence we as sinful people have, and as we witness of it, it breaks our own hearts, and humbles us. I can truly say that Trevor Dahl has gone through this process.


During the last radio debate on Radio Pulpit, in which a.o Uncle Erlo and myself participated, he accused Trevor Dahl of fighting against Kwasizabantu, although Trevor said when he was leaving Kwasizabantu that he wanted “to leave in peace”. The hypocrisy of this statement astounded me, when I think of what Erlo Stegen has done and said to discredit Trevor Dahl over the years (including what he said to me personally, namely that “the blood of those people who have left Kwasizabantu and wanted to come back, but would not, now that Trevor left, would be on him (Trevor)”.

Trevor Dahl on the contrary, over a long period, has struggled with himself, with God and with a selected few friends, to find a way not to damage the good work done by Kwasizabantu. In view of this: to make him out as a fighter against Kwasizabantu, whilst Erlo Stegen himself has said and done many things against him (Trevor) to different people, is astounding, and deeply saddening.

Is this self-deception? Is it deliberate lying? Is it weakness? Whatever it is, it is downright wrong.


Kjell: Trevor Dahl is not the only one, you know that. There are many others who have testified in these days. But he was the one Kwasizabantu stumbled on, because God had decided that Kwasizabantu has gone far enough in the evil dealings and attitudes concerning His children who leave the place because they want to live truly and truthfully for Him.

The Lord has seen the measure become full of the nonsense Stegen theology that people that leave Kwasizabantu are leaving the Lord……; the nonsense theology that they have left the Way; the nonsense theology that they are not blessed; the nonsense that there is no fruit in their ministry or in their lives; the nonsense that they are deceived and that they are following the devil; of the nonsense lies spread about them; the nonsense excuses used in God’s holy Name to justify cutting them off and not even attending weddings, etc. of close family members…. in short, the nonsense of not only tolerating, but in fact promoting an evil lack of love (1 Cor. 13) towards God’s own, by declaring them to be “outside”, and to be shunned like lepers. (How self-righteous can a man get?) Furthermore: the nonsense theology that a leader cannot apologise or repent for he would look weak and lose face in the eyes of the Zulu co-workers (that is nothing else than bowing to Zulu culture, and to give the authority God has given in His Word a lower place than a Zulu custom (what sense has the gospel then?). So also with the arguments used (also by yourself) concerning the beatings in the school, and the virginity testing. Is Zulu culture regarded as superior to biblical culture?


You know, Koos Greeff is another name in question. I know that Koos Greeff has weaknesses. He tends to be emotional sometimes. He sometimes acts too much in haste. He sometimes does things we do not agree with how its done.

But you know: He has a teachable spirit, and many times I have read his open apologies when he came under the conviction of sin. He is transparent. He stands in the light with his weaknesses and his strengths, with his full humanity in the eyes of God.

That is the godly way to deal with our weaknesses, and is much, much more than anyone can say of Kwasizabantu. I and others respect Koos Greeff for that, for that is what brings people to God, not a so-called perfect life, which is utter arrogance to even think that we can achieve it – and no one of us will ever achieve until we are transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ himself in the coming of his glory.

It is in fact a delusion, and very, very sinful to think that we can live perfect lives (to quote Holy Scripture: “Our highest and most noble works are before God like a filthy rag”) for we can only be perfected in Christ Jesus, not in Kwasizabantu.

I have heard all this nonsense about Koos Greeff – also from Uncle Erlo in direct conversation (again – which he now denies).

The Lord in his grace took me to Koos Greeff’s area twice during the past two years, when I had to train people there in our computer programme. Not once, not twice, not three times, but tens of times I heard the name of Koos Greeff spoken – often before I even mentioned that I knew him.

Many people told me of the blessings that God has bestowed upon their lives since they heard Koos Greeff on the radio. I met a number of people who have come to the Lord through his radio messages on Radio Namakwaland. Some were listening to his messages during the day, and I had to leave time for them to do that. He was a household name in many peoples’ lives. He was part of a true revival in many peoples’ lives. And I knew then that the stories spread by Erlo Stegen and others at Kwasizabantu were just that: lies and nonsense.

During one personal conversation I had with Uncle Erlo, he said to me: “Where is Koos Greeff? He’s sitting in the desert! If he stayed at Kwasizabantu, he would have had South Africa at his feet!”. What an astounding and arrogant statement……..

Koos Greeff’s Bible School did not succeed, but so what? If he made a mistake with that, so what?

And I knew then that what Kwasizabantu regards as “success” is their own standard, not God’s standard, for if Koos Greeff had not gone to the Cape, he would have been disobedient to the voice of God – and who is the Kwasizabantu leadership to say that he was wrong?

What arrogance is locked up in these opinions? Can such arrogance and pride be from God? Never. Can the attitude of Uncle Friedl towards his own daughter(s), his son(s)-in-law and his grandchildren be justified? Only at Kwasizabantu, yes. But in God’s eyes, no. Only in the warped mind of skewed thinking can such things be justified, which shows how far these people have digressed from the way of God.


During December 1999 a well known Christian journalist from the US and his wife visited us for four weeks including Christmas and the New Year. We spent a lot of time together on the farm in Louis Trichardt. I shared my concerns about Kwasizabantu with him (not for broadcasting). He said to me that what is happening at Kwasizabantu is typical of what is happening in the US in these days. More and more, he said, Christian churches, church organisations, and parachurch institutions that have been following the Lord, are sliding into exactly the theology (legalism), viewpoints, attitudes and actions that Kwasizabantu represents.

He regarded it as a sign of the end-time falling away (he is Southern Baptist, not a Charismatic or Pentecostal). He said that the Kwasizabantu view and attitude of people who leave for the right reasons (guidance by God) is directly in line with this. (People who leave because of sinful actions, are not under discussion here). He said it is a strong trait of these churches and organisations, and that it represented a shift towards sectarianism in the church, which is growing. As this goes on, divisions in the Church are growing stronger, and gossip about each other, and infighting, is increasing (each one believes himself to be right, so how can the others be right?)

And you, my friend Kjell, cannot, and should never identify with this at Kwasizabantu ever, for whatever reason, for you will also be going against God in that. It needs to be repented of. Erlo Stegen needs to repent of it, sooner rather than later, and the sooner the better.


Let me tell you openly and clearly that I have changed my opinion about Kwasizabantu since I wrote you in March last year 1999. I wrote you then that I was not one of those who regarded Kwasizabantu as sectarian or cultic. At that stage I was mainly concerned with the attitude towards people who have left because God led them to go (excluding those that left because they have sinned). The document of the Bible School Principal in Edinburg, Scotland, dr. Colin Peckham (in which he stated that Kwasizabantu had cultic tendencies) was then under discussion as well.

I now am fully convinced that Kwasizabantu has overstepped the line of development from a truly Christian institution towards a sect. But I go further: I am convinced that Kwasizabantu is now somewhere between a sect and a cult.

These are heavy words, I know, but I am not alone in this opinion. The signs are clear, but not to those who are in it, I know, for that is one of the pillars of a sect or a cult: it’s members and supporters do not know that they are where they are.

That is one of the tragic manifestations of a sect or a cult, namely its self-deception, and the willingness of its members to be deceived. Their mindset has been subtly shaped to such an extent that they cannot believe otherwise, and because they believe to have the full truth, they cannot humble themselves and take a hard look at their ways.


One of the manifestations of this is the way Kwasizabantu explains itself. The explanations never contain a word of true repentance, or even the possibility that there has been sin. It drips of self-righteousness and pride. The article by Uncle Erlo in the Natal Witness which we included with our Urgent Plea document drips of pride, of how good a place Kwasizabantu is. It did a lot to show people out there how high a regard Erlo Stegen has of Kwasizabantu, the subtle pride, and how justification at all costs works in the sectarian mindset.

The article was described to me by a SA Christian radio journalist as having nothing to do with our document, although it was sent to us as a response. It was no reply – it was a fanfare of near-perfectness and self-justification, with a total lack of humility.

We had no problem in presenting it to the Church, as it spoke a clear message, and did it better than we could have done it ourselves.

Such is the tragic way of self-deception.


And you, my friend, need to take up the challenge for truth, speak out on it, and distance yourself from it. There is a time for quiet diplomacy, but there also is a time for open confrontation, and that time is now. I leave it to you.


I have in my mind the image of Kwasizabantu as with a great spider’s web over it, but the strands are so fine, as to be virtually invisible, except if God opens one’s eyes. Within the web, there are spots of freedom, and those that live there think they are free, but they know not that there freedom is controlled by the invisible strands, which send messages to the core of the web if someone pushes against it, and tries to move out of his designated area. Then the process of discipline starts, eventually culminating in a declaration of the damnation of the rebellious “sinner”, if it is not successful in controlling him. He is then eliminated. Those that leave by permission to go somewhere to act on behalf of the web community, all have invisible strands attached to them to bring them back…. Those that escape the control of the web on their own free will, are subject to the rage of the spider, and poison is spouted against them. The “mind” of the web speaks of God and godliness, but it is from behind a mask of godliness. All lies are justified in terms of laws proclaimed to be of God….


Kjell: God gave me another image of Kwasizabantu: Kwasizabantu has been a city of refuge (Deut. 13) to many, including myself. Now Kwasizabantu has become a city of sin. Eventually Kwasizabantu will become a city of refuse – on God’s ash heap of history, unless true repentance will be forthcoming, which we pray for.


To be honest, I do not believe true repentance will happen. I think Kwasizabantu has gone too far down the line, and as a prominent church leader said the other day, has “passed the point of no return”. The soul power and the deception there is too strong, and the delusion is part of the culture of the place.

Erlo Stegen is accountable to no one, and no one at Kwasizabantu is able to , and will, go against him, even in love, and so it will be, until God intervenes.


I am aware of the fact that our initiative (our Letter to the Church and our Urgent Plea document) have served to harden attitudes at Kwasizabantu, and have driven the leadership further into the defensive laager.

This was one of the things over which I wrestled with the Lord before all this happened. I prayed and prayed. I was afraid it would happen to Kwasizabantu.

I felt like a traitor towards Kwasizabantu – the place and its people were so close to me, but God is closer, thanks be to Him. The Lord gave me rest, and led me to leave it to Him, and to just do my little part in obedience to him, take it step by step, and to trust him for whatever happens.

I know that the current happening is inevitable in the development of a cult, and my heart is heavy. The profile of the development of a cult fits the current stage of Kwasizabantu perfectly. It is a matter of time, before the next stages will be entered, until terminal illness results, resulting in self-destruction in the name of God. It is a sick downward cycle, not seen or noticed by those within it.

Of which I am most afraid, is a possible tactical manoeuvre to appease the perceived “enemy” and get them off your tail (as happened in 1977 with YWAM), but that true repentance will not be forthcoming. If this happens, Kjell, get out as quickly as possible.


As long as you are at Kwasizabantu, you will be on the wrong boat, going the wrong way, to the wrong destination. As long as you are there, you will be subject to the dogma of Uncle Friedl to “just bow” (bow before what?).

That dogma is a false dogma, and it excludes healthy reformation.


But: It calls for a Martin Luther at Kwasizabantu – to stand against the papists, and against the pope himself, if necessary. It calls for a Martin Luther at Kwasizabantu to go up to the great hall and hammer your statements to the door for all to see, and to face the consequences of maybe been classified with the devil, declared to be persona non grata in your own home, rejected by your own family, and driven from the place.

Kjell, will you be that man?

Will history show you to be where God wanted you to be, and called you to be?

Will you be as Queen Esther, and be “called for a time such as this”?


Kjell: My friend and very dear brother: Do not hate me for what I have written, although I will fully understand it if you do. I have done it because the Lord wanted me to – not because of “the spirit of this world”. I would rather have been far away on an island in the sun, than be involved with controversy such as this. I never get involved in controversy unless it comes my way, and God tells me to start walking the way He shows me. And He has to push me all the way, for I go reluctantly, in fear of sinning on the way.

Prof. Koos van Rooy said at our meeting in Muden on February 5 this year when we drew up our known Urgent Plea document, that we should not be proud of anything we achieve through this process, as (quote) “anything that passes through human hands, is tainted with sin”.

I am so aware of this, and I present to you in weakness my friendship, my love and my concern as a Christian brother.

Should you decide to go the High Road (if not now, then later) and you are ostracised by the Kwasizabantu leadership as others before you, you will not find yourself alone.

We will be there, many more of us than you think possible, to catch you up, and to help you through the inevitable pain and misery that will follow.

You will not be destitute, although you will have nothing.

We have those who have gone before, and who through knowledge gained through experience, will soften the blows for you.

We will wait for you, long as it may be, whenever it might be.

But do not wait too long, my friend.

In immense gratefulness for what Christ has meant for me, through you.