Archbishop Ratshitanga (front), lashes out at the VDM Pastor's Forum.
The Vhembe Pastor’s Forum has come under lot of criticism by pastors during the Vhembe Prayer Day held at the Louis Trichardt Show Grounds last Saturday.
This happened during the prayer day, which was the brainchild of Apostle Stanley Radzilani of Spirit Ambassador Church, based in Tshirenzheni village, Nzhelele.
Radzilani is the husband of Cllr Florence Radzilani, executive mayor of the Vhembe District Municipality. She is also deputy chairperson of ANC in the province and chairperson of The South African Local Government Association in Limpopo.
During the prayer session, Archbishop Ratshitanga and Apostle Maluleke did not mince their words when they criticised the VDM Pastor’s Forum for abandoning the prayer day. The pastor’s forum announced that they were not going to be part of the prayer day, “in support of VBS victims who lost their money through looting.”
Cllr Radzilani has been mentioned in the VBS report released recently as one of the more than 50 people who were involved.
Ratshitanga said he did not recognize the pastor forum, “which is against the wisdom of Cllr Radzilani, who organized a prayer day for the district. It is high time we review this pastor’s forum. We did not affiliate to it. We never take instructions from them. We cannot be led by a forum which takes instructions from a union, Cosatu. We are not affiliated to Cosatu and we will never take instruction from them or any union.”
He added that they were church leaders who were not affiliated to any political parties. “Even the ANC cannot control us. We are not involved in politics. We do not even influence our members on how they must vote. We put Jesus first. That is where we affiliate.”
Ratshitanga also added that they were not attending the prayer session because they supported people who were implicated in the VBS saga or against bankers. “We are only here to pray for Vhembe and our political leaders as it is mandated by the Bible. On the VBS saga, we say the police must do their work now and arrest those who are supposed to be arrested,” said Ratshitanga repeatedly.
Ratshitanga also said he was against those who were dividing people along tribal lines on the Vuwani demarcation issue.
Meanwhile, Maluleke said he had not come to support Cllr Radzilani, but to support her office.
“VDM Pastor’s Forum is illegal and we do not know it. Vhembe is blessed to have a leader like Radzilani who organizes a prayer day for the people. She is leading by example. We have been praying for this day to arrive and we are happy it became a reality,” said Maluleke.
Radzilani said the community must wait for the processes of law to unfold and to stop judging her. “My husband taught me not to fear any person. I only fear God. In the Bible, it says God sees everything. So, if I am hiding behind the Bible, God will expose me and punish me harshly,” said Radzilani.