Members and followers of the Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church have come out strong in defense of their leader Prophet Shepherd Bushiri who has become a victim of what is perceived as Xenophobia in Pretoria, South Africa.
The members were reacting to spates of xenophobic tirades by some handful members of South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) who blocked the entrance of Bushiri’s ECG church in Pretoria Showgrounds on Friday night.
Speaking to The Citizen newspaper of South Africa, a lady called Evangelist Elizabeth said:
“This is a major prophet and people are not afraid. If you look at Muslims, you don’t play with their [prophets].
“If you want to die, touch Muhammad’s name. The Muhammad who died a long time ago. Mention anything negative against the prophet, you will die… but a fellow Christian is not afraid to fight another Christian,” she said outside the church premises.
“We are equal in fellowship, but different in rank. That’s what the Bible says. [It says] touch not my anointing and do my prophet no harm. It’s there you can check it.”
Beatrix said the recent death of three congregants in a stampede at the church could not be blamed on Bushiri – also known as ‘Major 1’ the ‘Papa’.
“It’s not the prophet’s fault. People are identifying the prophet’s name, why? If we are so many, and the gate is so small yet there is over 50 000 people, how do you expect people to pass there? Everybody was pushing to get home first, it was slippery because it had rained. It’s not the prophet’s fault,” she insisted.
Another ECG member “James from Malawi” was also on the scene to defend “the good name of the prophet”.
“I don’t understand what is happening to this South Africa country. He [Bushiri] is here to help people and he’s a man of God. Everything happening here is about God’s power,” said James.
“He didn’t invite anyone to come and sleep here, outside the gate. It’s their own fault the people that are sleeping over there [queuing outside the church]. They are not only South Africans, but there are also Malawians sleeping there, Zimbabweans, and many other countries sleeping over there,” he said.
Later on, a man wearing a Bushiri’s Prophetic Channel television station branded cap was severely assaulted by a mob a few metres from South African Police Service (SAPS) and Tshwane Metro Police officers.
The usually busy WF Nkomo (formerly Church) Street in Pretoria West was on Friday evening closed to traffic as the Sanco protesters demanded answers from the Bushiri-led ECG over the death of three congregants reportedly in a stampede at the church premises.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :