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Mr Buthelezi’s Answer


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Ref. C-nis-201006

6 October 2020

Mr Jens Nissen

Mainz Germany via email

Dear Mr Nissen,

Thank you for sending me a copy of your open letter addressed to me, published on I am not keen to enter a slinging match. My statement on KwaSizabantu Mission made it clear that we cannot judge what did or did not happen until any evidence has been examined through the courts.

It is only where you make accusations against me personally that I must respond.

You claim that I “have a share of the blame for all this misery”, that I have known of wrongdoing at KwaSizabantu for years and have been complicit in the active suppression of information which, as you vulgarly put it, is tantamount to denying the Holocaust.

Mr Nissen, I can only engage with arguments made in good faith. I must ask why you are at pains to repeat that you are “simply a journalist”, “not a prominent person”, really “a nobody”, “unnoticed by anyone”, a “non-prominent journalist” with a mere “acquaintance” with KwaSizabantu.

Why are you so careful to conceal the fact that you were a leader of KwaSizabantu for several years? It seems that you were so taken with KwaSizabantu that after (as you claim) laughing with Reverend Stegen about Black people’s small brains and bad hair, you personally opened a branch of KwaSizabantu in Germany. If you witnessed such moral dubiousness in the Mission, why did you eagerly become a part of it?


DURBAN OFFICE:                                                                   PRESIDENT                                                                         ULUNDI OFFICE:

2 Durban Club                                                                                Mr VF Hiabisa                                                                      B 82 Princess Mkabayi

Place,                                                                                    ty President: Inkosi EM Buthelezi

This negates your entire argument that you know KwaSizabantu better than I do because within “two days” you had uncovered its true nature, whereas I apparently have been lied to by thousands of congregants over forty years without realising it.

As you yourself told the Reformatorisch Dagblad in 2001, “No one will find out the truth in the few weeks he visits the post… It takes years to really understand the system.”

But then you change your argument. Having first agreed that I never had cause to question the biblical teachings, motive or ministry at KwaSizabantu — because supposedly the wool was pulled over my eyes — you then claim that I knew all along of alleged abuse at the Mission.

Your evidence, which contradicts itself, is my own words in 2001, quoted in The Natal Witness, where I said I am “not aware of virginity testing or beatings going on at the mission… I have never been informed of those kind of things going on.”

I am not treated with kid gloves, Mr Nissen, nor do I see only one side of things. As a political leader, I know not to take things at face value and I often get to hear everyone’s side of the story because everyone is trying to convince me to carry their cause.

Let me make myself clear. If anyone had come to me with allegations of abuse, I would have urged them to go to the Police. I cannot understand why you, as a leader of KwaSizabantu, did not open a case so that the things you believed to be wrong could be investigated. Why is it only now that you make allegations from a distance?

You accuse me of politicking when I say that the women who have come forward with allegations of abuse must be supported. You ask me how. The most basic gesture of support is to neither deny nor question their allegations.

The truth needs to be revealed through official investigation. Such investigation can only take place where a case is opened. Yet no one making allegations against KwaSizabantu has gone to the police. For the sake of revealing the truth, KwaSizabantu itself has launched official investigations by laying a charge of criminal defamation.

To me that shows their openness to being questioned.

Yours sincerely,