Surviving ‘cult’ brothers vow to keep on preaching
Mancobas blame their ‘troubled’ late sibling Thandazile for killing five Ngcobo policemen and a former soldier
The controversial Seven Ministries Church has refused to stop holding services despite the threat by the government to shut it down and mounting calls from religious groups to have it disbanded.
The church has been declared a cult by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula.
One of the four surviving Mancoba brothers said that only God would tell them to stop performing miracles and preaching.
Many have seen the fatal shootout, which claimed the lives of three Mancoba brothers at the churchyard on Saturday, as a beginning of the collapse of the ministry. But Banele Mancoba, 30, claimed it was the beginning of bigger things:
“This signalled the time for us to leave the nest and spread our wings. We will go around stadiums performing our miracles and healing people. We are just waiting for God to inform us about the right moment,” claimed Mancoba.He said the ministry did not recognise the authority of the church or any Chapter 9 institutions. It recognised only its own version of God.
Banele Mancoba has implicated his older brother Thandazile, who died at the hands of police on Friday night, as responsible for killing five Ngcobo policemen and a former soldier.
Banele, 30, said Thandazile, 35, had been a troubled person whom all the other brothers had once expelled from the church and chased him out of their home for not practising what was preached at the church.
“Even at a young age he was the person who related more with criminals. You would always find him among them.”
Mancoba described his dead brother as a “warrior” who would never shy away from a fight when he was upset.
The controversial church, which is implicated in the killing of 13 people, was run by Mancoba family members Thandazile, 35, Bandile, 30, Phuthumile, 31, twins Ephraim and Benjamin, 23, Xolisa, 37 and Philile, 33. Only six were active in the running of the church, apparently on an equal status, excluding Thandazile, said their mother Noluvo, 57.
Xolisa, Philile and Thandazile died in a hail of bullets when the church was stormed by the police special task force after receiving a tip-off that the suspected police killers were hiding out at the church.
Banele, Ephraim, Benjamin and Phuthumile ran for the hills after a heavy exchange of gunfire ensued at the church. They later handed themselves in to the police. By yesterday, all except Benjamin had been questioned and released.
The church was founded by Siphiwo Mancoba, in 1985, who ran it until his death in 2015.