South Africa is taking a big step to clamp down on financial irregularities of churches and their pastors.For too long Pastors and religious leaders all over the world have been known to siphon funds into their own personal pockets.Now they are being threatened with jail.A certain pastor even said he would rather go to jail than open his church books to the authorities.Now why would anyone say this? If you had nothing to hide,why hide your books? Why would you rather go to jail? These men are nothing but abunch of rogues who take advantage of their loyal followers.
Now the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, which is currently investigating the commercialization of religion and abuse of people’s beliefs, said several religious leaders in the country could be jailed if they fail to comply with the demands of the commission to submit their ordination certificate, registration certificate, bank statements, and annual financial statements from 2012.
The head of the commission, Ms. Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said the commission had been forced to take a legal route because some of the church leaders had failed to comply with the directive. Chris Oyakhilome, the founder of Christ Embassy, had indicated he would take a legal action to stop the commission from forcing it to open his books.
Christ Embassy had earlier sought an extension of time to enable it review its financial records. Ms. Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said they were also considering filing charges of intimidation against religious leaders who had publicly threatened the commission. She wondered why some pastors would take money from their followers and, yet, refuse to provide their financial records.
She said: “Some of these religious leaders will face prison if they do not comply and we have been clear about our course of action. These people take money from people. What are they doing with that money? We want to know. We will not back down. If he (Mr. Oyakhilome) intends on that route, we are ready. He will have to face the same fate as the others who refuse to hand over their financial records.”
While most of the old traditional churches had requested an extension of time; a lot of the new breed churches had threatened court action. Earlier this month, a South African pastor, Paseka Motsoeneng, the head of Incredible Happenings Church, told the commission he would rather go to jail than hand over his financial records.I am not surprised Motsoeneng feels this way.This was the pastor who was featured on a BBC program.He was seen buying suits worth thousands of dollars,had untold numbers of flashy cars.He even had soaps and creams he sells to his followers.You very well can bet all these monies goes directly into his accounts and unaccounted for.I really feel these man should be jailed.What they are doing is no way different from fraud.They evade tax,get money through false means and spend money thatw as meant for something else.It remains to be seen how South Africa will tackle this problem.
Personally in Africa i feel there is no hope.Cos all our gullible leaders have these pastors on fast speed dial on their phones.They kneel before them and consult them before taking decisions.So with this in mind,how the hell are they supposed to curb their scams and corrupt ways?