Hardly a month following the ejection from Botswana of a number of foreign nationals, Isaac Leduka, a South African citizen, leader of Holy Throne International Ministries, has also been declared a prohibited immigrant, following revelations that his church was not registered with the Registrar of Societies as dictated by law.
Apparently, Leduka’s expulsion, though clouded with secrecy, offers a clue to the cause of the incessant mushrooming of churches in the country in spite of Botswana’s relatively tiny population.
To witness the scene of ‘Spiritual’ fraud, take a drive along Nelson Mandela Drive towards the south of Gaborone, past the Department of Water Affairs Headquarters, where you join Kgobaseretse Road which takes you across the railway line via Old Naledi Village as if to Game City.
Immediately after the rail line, there is a board which reads, ‘Arise and Shine’ in bold letters. It goes on to assure passersby of an opportunity to ‘Change Today.’ Then to the right there is a tarred road that leads to one of the premises which were used for the filming of The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency movie; there you are. Ask the security guard for the directions. He will guide you to their new hall.
Lebogang Bok, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs says, “Holy Throne Ministries had applied for registration, but did not comply with the registration process hence their registration was rejected.” Although the full details concerning the authorities’ rejection of the Holy Throne were not given to the Sunday Standard, it remains unclear how that links with the decision to expel the prayer leader.
However, Bok confirmed that “a certain Isaac Leduka, a South African national was declared a prohibited immigrant and was deported on the 9th August 2008.” Concerning the reason for his P.I. status, the MLHA spokesperson stated that the Office of the President would be best placed to answer.
In response, Dr Jeff Ramsay, Head of Government Communications and Information Services, housed in the OP, referred the Sunday Standard back to the MLHA and suggested that it is for the Department of Immigration to say the reasons.
After being thrown from pillar to post, it was pointed out by MLHA officials that, “This was a Presidential decreed expulsion,” and that the law provides that the President is not obligated to explain or give reasons for any decision or action following from such decrees.
Notwithstanding the responses from the authorities, information unearthed by the Sunday Standard seems to implicate some Botswana nationals who may have conspired with Leduka to defraud their local folk. This paper has the names of the affected locals.
It emerges that whilst Holy Throne International Ministries’ bid to register as a church had been rejected, they are in fact operating as a company incorporated by shares, under the name HOLY THRONE INTERNATIONAL (PTY) LTD, as CO. 2008/1913.
On account of this, it follows that all the proceeds of the Holy throne may be considered the company’s entitlements.
Efforts to get more details from the Church officials were not fruitful. They replied, “This matter is before Government authorities and it would, therefore, be unfair to discuss with newspapers.”
However, the Sunday Standard can confirm that even after their senior pastor, who owned 90% of the shares, left unceremoniously, eleven days later some five church members proceeded to transfer and distribute the shares amongst themselves.