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Update on Court Case: Erlo Stegen and Kwasizabantu vs. B. Mabaso and others

On May 9th, 2001 the Supreme Court of South Africa, KwaZulu Natal decided to postpone the hearing of the matter between KSB and B. Mabaso, etc., until May 30th. This motion will give KSB an opportunity to reply by May 23rd, 2001, to the Respondent’s Affidavits which were submitted to the court on May 8th, 2001.

On May 30th, the court will decide whether or not the case will proceed further to oral trial at a later date, as the matter was determined to be a dispute of fact between the two parties’ affidavits.

In the last month, members of the wider Body of Christ have contacted, and in some cases visited Kwasizabantu to encourage the leaders to abstain from going to court for secular arbitration but rather to take a proper biblical route according to 1 Cor. 6, that alleged grievances be resolved within the Church context.

On May 7th, a group of 19 people including Barney and Mphangeni Mabaso, Matthias Lubke, and Bodo Stegen, and led by Dr. Tony Moll, an executive board member of Doctors for Life, visted Kwasizabantu to speak to the KSB leadership. The group made an appeal to scripture requesting that Mission Kwasizabantu withdraw its court application and that a neutral Christian arbitrator be asked to aid in resolving the matter. The group suggested a possible arbitrator- a Christian professional from overseas who had expressed willingness to help.

The visitors’ report was that Kjell Olsen, Arno Stegen, Alpheus Mdlalose, Micheal Ngubane, Mrs Nsibande , and Sipho Mbeje did not respond to the request to keep the matter out of court but KSB’s spokespeople said that the ball was in the Respondents’ hands to stop the court case. Mission Kwasizabantu’s spokesman Kjell Olsen said that they had been waiting for the Respondents to contact them but that it was sad that they came at the last hour, implying that their coming two days before the court-hearing was too late.

When asked if Erlo Stegen and Mission Kwasizabantu had received a registered letter from Barney, Mphangheni, Trevor and the others, stating their preference not to go to court, but rather to the saints, Mission Kwasizabantu’s spokesmen pleaded confusion/ignorance of such a letter having been received.

Mission Kwasizabantu spokesmen said to the group that there were two things the Respondents could do to stop the court case. When asked what these were, Mission Kwasizabantu spokesmen declined to explain, allegedly reiterating that the Respondents knew what they needed to do and thus did not need to be told.

The delegation left Kwasizabantu having been denied an opportunity to begin to seek for a solution to the crisis according to scripture, outside of court, with an intermediary from the wider Body of Christ.