VEREENIGING. – ‘I am a preacher, a healer but not a satanist’.
Bishop Banafa Zondo founder of the Rivers of Living Waters Ministries in Evaton says he is a son of the Vaal and no one will tell him what to do.
“It will take a lot before the jealous community can remove me from my place of birth,” he said.
Bishop Zondo was speaking during a media briefing hosted at the Golf Club Restaurant near the Riviera Hotel on March 23.
This comes after the church building and the big, white tent across Moshoeshoe Road were attacked by a dangerous mob on March 20 and 21. Damage to the church is estimated at R2-million.
The tent was burned down before Police arrived. During the incident, it was reported that at least one person was fatally wounded with others also taken to hospital.
This was after residents accused him of using satanic powers to “unleash demons and possess young girls”.
He says people are jealous of the beautiful, fancy cars parked outside the biggest church in the Vaal. He said he had done no harm to the community and dismissed claims that he had performed any satanic rituals.
Some people recently confessed on Theta FM that they “were possessed by the Bishop to practice demonism.” According to them they were possessed and made to destroy lives by causing road accidents.
One guest in the studio said she recently took part in the killing of a Bophelong doctor in an accident on the N1 at the so-called ‘Crossing of Death’ in Vanderbijlpark.
Bishop Zondo told the media that his ‘sin’ was apparently his conversion and saving the lives of many people. He said, “My heart’s desire is to see Theta FM working for the benefit of the community”.
He adds that since that the untrue controversial allegations have basicly destroyed church members’ family life.
Some community members have resorted to fighting among themselves. Innocent people have turned into victims of attack by the public after being accused of working closely with Bishop Zondo. He said his congregation has lived in fear since the radio station’s unfounded allegations.
Meanwhile, the church has opened a criminal case with the High Court. Zondo’s attorney said they have appealed to the radio station to temporarily withhold its controversial programme. He denied that station manager Jimmy Dlamini once invited Zondo to respond to the allegations. “I was in a meeting when the presenter called me. I could not talk at that stage and was not aware that the presenter was live on air,” says Zondo.
Bishop Zondo said he would never ignore such an invitation. Even with the rumours spreading, the church continued with its Sunday programme. He adds that the matter is still ‘sub judice’.
“I don’t want to cast a bad light on Theta but would rather it stopped influencing the community with wrong information.” Dlamini has on behalf of the station sent condolences to families who have lost their young ones.
“This is spiritual warfare that needs to be prayed against,” he said. “Currently, the situation is back to normal with the police monitoring the area.”