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Kwasizabantu Mission, Erlo Stegen, and Hypocrisy

Christ warns in Matthew 23:27-28: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

According to the New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, the Greek word used for “hypocrisy” in the New Testament implies deceit and pretence.

The dictionary defines a “Pharisee” as a religious, hypocritical, self-righteous person. Hypocrites typically consider themselves to be more holy than others while hiding their evil behaviour under a righteous cloak.

The Lord Jesus spoke more passionately against hypocrisy — and its consequences — than against any other sin! Why did He pass judgment on the Pharisees?

The Pharisees preached what they did not practice and considered themselves more holy than others. They sought to please God with their religious activities, while their hearts were far from Him. They used external piety to cover inner corruption.

The Pharisees demanded obedience and were severe in imposing upon others burdens they themselves were not willing to carry. They were self-righteous and saw themselves as blameless and infallible. While quick to find sins and mistakes in others, they were not prepared to acknowledge their own guilt. In fact, they insulted, despised and rejected those who tried to correct them.

Erlo Stegen expects his followers to humble themselves and acknowledge that they are at fault whenever someone points out sin or error in their behaviour. When confronted about any “wrongdoing”, even when innocent, they are not allowed to justify themselves. Erlo Stegen himself, however, has a history of refusing to acknowledge that he is at fault when people point out sin or error in his behaviour or teaching. Nobody is allowed to question or criticize him.

Ordinary members of Kwasizabantu Mission have to apologize to those who have something against them. Erlo Stegen and his leadership, on the other hand — apart from their unwillingness to acknowledge any wrongdoing on their side — habitually refuse to apologize to those whom they have emotionally injured, traumatized and treated unjustly. There are multitudes of ex-KSB members and ex-Domino Servite School pupils to whom apologies by them are long overdue.

Erlo Stegen and his inner circle, which nowadays consists of unmarried females (e.g. Lydia Dube, Eunice Ngcamu and Busisiwe Habebe), expect of others not to lie to them, yet Erlo Stegen and Lydia Dube in particular have a history of lying and

justifying lies, especially when these lies are told to “protect God’s work”.

KSB leaders also teach co-workers to tell lies, e.g. to tell visitors what they want to hear, even if it’s not the truth. For many years, for example, visitors to Kwasizabantu Mission were told that there were no duty lists for the people working in the kitchen. This is untrue. The fact is that there were duty lists, which were strictly enforced. Yet, visitors were being told that “the Lord sends people to work in the kitchen.”

During a certain Sunday morning service at Kwasizabantu Mission, Erlo Stegen said to his audience that, if they are on Facebook, they are sinning and he dares to say that their names are not written in the Book of Life. (Doesn’t God decide whose names are written in the Book of Life…?) Yet Erlo’s multi-million enterprise, which bottles and sells mineral water, is on Facebook. See

He justifies the presence of aQuelle on Facebook by saying that being on Facebook “for the sake of the gospel” is not a sin.

Erlo Stegen teaches that followers of Christ should walk in the light and hide nothing. He has on numerous occasions admonished his followers to expose whatever anybody tells them in secret. Especially if this secret information or conversation is accompanied by the words: “Don’t tell anybody.” What is very disturbing, however, is that he himself, when he calls his co-workers together in meetings, sternly commands them not to tell anybody anything which is said or done during those gatherings. Erlo would typically threaten co-workers at such occasions: should they mention anything about what is said or done at the meeting to others, they would be “cutting” themselves “off” from him and from Kwasizabantu Mission.

Erlo Stegen teaches his followers not to slander or criticize others. Yet, he is known, especially during co-worker meetings, to criticize and defame others who are not present to defend themselves. The usual candidates for his own slandering are the “enemies of God” (i.e. all who question him or disagree with him).

Erlo Stegen preaches whole-hearted devotion and obedience to God. At the same time, however, he claims to have direct authority from God to control his followers via his own unwritten rules. Furthermore, he demands undivided loyalty, obedience and devotion to him, his “mission”, his “revival”, and his teaching. If any of his co-workers dares to disobey, criticize or oppose him, or if they question his rules and practices, this co-worker is intimidated, verbally abused and threatened in a brutal, harsh manner by Erlo, his inner circle, and other loyal followers. These victims, who are usually branded as “enemies of God” or “enemies of God’s work”, are subjected to this harsh intimidation, verbal abuse and threats during co-worker meetings. During such “breaking sessions”, a number of leaders and loyal co-workers would typically attack the character of a victim, sometimes for hours on end, until the victim is crying uncontrollably and end up apologizing e.g. for having criticized, doubted or disobeyed God’s “mouth-piece” and “anointed prophet”, Erlo Stegen.

Common people who work at Kwasizabantu Mission, and who are not related to the Stegen family, are usually discouraged by the KSB leadership to support themselves financially from other sources, even if they have to support a family of six or more children. On a certain occasion some of them were told by the leadership that there would be a curse on any money they receive as a result of earning a livelihood in any other way. These common people then become dependent upon the mission, working long hours, usually having nowhere else to go. Erlo Stegen and his extended family, however, are at liberty to own businesses and support themselves financially in different ways, accumulating money and property while living in luxury. The common people who work on the mission, on the other hand, just have to “deny themselves” and be satisfied with their small, very often insufficient salaries.

Erlo Stegen tells others to obey God’s Word, yet he himself doesn’t obey God’s Word. In opposition to Malachi 4:5-6, for example, Erlo encourages the emotional and physical separation of children from their parents. He expects parents to ostracize their children when these children do not submit to the mission’s rules. He discourages and even forbids children to share their hearts with their parents.

Erlo Stegen also discourages close, trusting relationships between husbands and wives. During the past four or five decades, Erlo and his leadership have on numerous occasions rebuked, mocked and degraded husbands or wives who talk about their personal problems, thoughts, emotions, or weaknesses to their spouses. As a result, husbands and wives usually don’t develop an open, trusting relationship, and eventually they have severe communication problems which cannot be resolved. Erlo Stegen and his co-workers still continue to break up marriages, in spite of the fact that God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16).

In Ezekiel 34:16 the Lord proclaims restoration and healing to the victims of spiritual abuse, hypocrisy and double standards, but judgment and destruction to hypocritical leaders: “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick, but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.”