ZCC members win against Lekganyane

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Some members of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) in Botswana have successfully won their bid to interdict their church and leader Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane from carrying any disciplinary hearing against them.

The 17 applicants who were slapped with disciplinary hearing following numerous grievances laid against the church and its leader were yesterday given a lifeline during a court ruling. The applicants are lead by Tshiamo Tladi.

Lobatse High Court Judge, Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa granted the orders sought by the applicants, which among others was to interdict their disciplinary hearing, which was to take place on December 12, 2015 at Moria.

The ruling has, among other things, interdicted the church and its leader from carrying any disciplinary proceedings until the determination of the applicant’s pending case before the Gaborone High Court Judge, Michael Mothobi.


It also interdicts the church from holding disciplinary hearings pending the hearing of the applicant’s grievances lodged against the respondents and before being furnished with the specific details of their charges.

Though the matter was confined to the urgency part of the application, Nthomiwa said the orders sought, ought to be granted because the applicants had established that there was a well-grounded apprehension of irreparable harm if the interim interdict was not granted.

“I agree with the applicants that if the disciplinary hearings were to be heard and adverse decisions made against them, which includes expulsion or suspension from the church, that would be the end of their case before Judge Mothobi,” he said.

He said that the matter was sufficiently urgent to warrant being heard because of the manner in which the church operated particularly the manner in which the applicant’s complaints were handled.

Nthomiwa explained that the applicants through their attorney, Uyapo Ndadi, had proved that the matter was urgent in seeking the interim interdict because they will not be afforded substantial redress in that by the time their case was heard, it would be thrown out for lack of standing.

“What worried them most was that the church was not communicating effectively with them and even ignoring the requests for particulars of the offences his clients were charged with, and were never informed about the disciplinary hearing well on time,” he said.

On the argument that the applicants slept on their rights, Nthomiwa said it was not true as chronology of events presented before court summarised showed that applicants never slept on their rights.

“They brought this application as soon as they got to know that the church was proceeding with the disciplinary hearing, notwithstanding that a case involving their grievances was pending before the High Court. The notices were served on them at different times even early this month and in my view they acted immediately,” he explained.

Meanwhile the applicants who are members of a praise and worship team (Mokhukhu) in Tlokweng in a pending case before Mothobi are challenging the leaders for violating the church’s governing constitution.

In their filing notice of September 23, 2015, they challenge among other things why the church has never appointed a Minister since the constitution was passed in 2009; why annual general meetings never take place; unconstitutional appointment of executive members.

The applicants argued that Bishop Lekganyane had failed since 2009 to appoint a Minister to run and head the church in Botswana causing the church to be in a state of crisis and uncertainty as no one was accountable to lead.

The applicants further said as a result, the church was run from outside despite not being told why the Bishop had failed to appoint any person to oversee the Botswana church.

Daniel Swabi represented the church and its leader.

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