By Sifiso Dlamini | 2019-12-06
THE country’s church leaders have strongly condemned the alleged violent actions of Bishop Enoch Maseko towards his children.
New Covenant of Jesus Christ Ministries founder Bishop Maseko, of the famed ‘Ungatibulali ngalokwentako’ television programme, is currently involved in a tug-of-war with his children which resulted in him assaulting one of his sons, an action that has landed him in jail facing SODV charges.
Recent developments have indicated that there were deep lying issues within the Maseko family as the bishop has been involved in an ongoing battle with his children.
As a result of the ongoing feud in the Maseko family, the clergyman was arrested on Tuesday and charged with contravening the Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Act for allegedly assaulting his son, Mazwi (21), with an open hand on the cheek, and threatening to stab him with a spear which he used to graze him several times on the chest.
In September, Maseko wanted his older son, Simiso, who is also a member of the Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force (UEDF) and a pastor in his own right, kicked out of his home situated at Boyane area as he alleged the son was unruly and disrespectful.
On Wednesday, the man of the cloth was granted bail and ordered to leave his home and find an alternative place of abode pending finalisation of the matter between him and his son Mazwi.
Maseko’s ministry is under the umbrella of the Eswatini Conference of Churches President Bishop Stephen Masilela who said he could not comment on the matter until he has engaged the bishop first.
“I cannot express my opinion on the matter yet as I need to have a dialogue with Bishop Maseko before making an official comment,” he said.
He said as a man of God under the organisation, it was proper to engage the bishop first.
Eswatini League of Churches President Bishop Samson Hlatshwako said he has learnt about the Maseko conflict from the media and expressed his worry over the situation.
He condemned the actions of the bishop and said as a man of God, he should not have raised his hand on his children but look at other means of resolving their issues as a family.
He stated that the matter should not have gotten to the point where Maseko was arrested and charged.
“The Maseko clan and elders should engage the family and have a dialogue to resolve their issues instead of resorting to violence,” he said. With regards to allegations made by his children that he was bringing another woman to their late mother’s home, Hlatshwako said if the clergyman was guilty of such behaviour, it was wrong of him to do so and should instead build a new home for his new wife as this was also against the Eswatini culture.
He said he understood the situation and the reason for Maseko to re-marry as his wife had passed on but said it was common that in some cases, children did not accept new spouses and Maseko should refrain from exposing them to the situation by bringing another woman to their home.
“As a church we condemn such behaviour as we advocate for peace and harmony within families,” added Hlatshwako.
Eswatini Council of Churches Secretary General Reverend Zwanini Shabalala also condemned the behaviour of the clergyman.
He, however, said the Conference of Churches would be in a better position to comment on the matter as Maseko was under their umbrella.
He expressed his shock at the actions of the bishop as the matter should not have been allowed to reach this point.
“As a council we advocate that such issues should be discussed and an amicable solution reached,” he said.
He also mentioned that as a church, they condemned violence at any level.
Shabalala said as a church, they were in support of the SODV Act and have even vowed to advocate and educate members about the law as violence was not the answer.
He also stated that the church leadership and the organisation the bishop was under should engage the Maseko family in order to resolve the conflict.
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