Some South Africans have launched deep and widespread xenophobic attacks against Malawian Prophet Shepherd Bushiri arguing they are going to continue protesting until his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) Church is “removed from our showgrounds in Pretoria”.
Typical xenophobic scenes such as burning tyres, spewing hatred remarks, shouts of ‘makwerekwere’ and beating up suspected faces were the order of the night on Friday when a handful of individuals invaded the gates of Pretoria Showgrounds—where ECG holds its services—to stop people from praying there.
The irony of it all is that ECG, currently, is not holding services as it is on recess until January 20.
This comes after three women died in a tragedy last Friday in what Police believe that members of the congregation may have pushed each other as they panicked over a thunderstorm, leading to the stampede.
One of the protesters was heard shouting in video footage by SABC: “We want to question him [Bushiri]. Some among us want him to vacate Pretoria. We are going to continue protesting until his church is removed from our showgrounds.
“We are aware that the church service was expected to begin today (Friday) and we are disrupting it. This is our message to him,” he said.
However, Prophet Bushiri’s spokesperson Ephraim Nyondo said: “What happened at ECG on Friday was an unfortunate incident that none has control upon. The church is working with the police to ensure that everything is addressed to the letter. So far we have never had any issue with the police. We will remain steadfast in working with the police and relevant offices so that all matters are addressed.”
He added: “Spews of xenophobic attacks are uncalled for Prophet Bushiri and ECG operate legally in South Africa.”
Bushiri followers believe the man known as “Major One” is not only imbued with the power of prophecy, but also to heal the sick and pray for one’s prosperity.
People who proclaim to be able to perform miracles are not unique to South Africa or even the continent – they are found in many parts of the world.
These include US-based Israeli church leader Benny Hinn, Grace Copeland and German evangelist Rienhard Bonnke to name a few.
Religion is a thorny issue, one that largely relies on individual choice.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :