Riot police will be on standby when the Dutch Reformed Church faithful congregate at Bokaa on Good Friday.
The move is necessitated by the likelihood of a clash between two factions of the same congregation.
Councilor Tuchicus Mfazi expressed disappointment with the church leadership and wants the church to close down so that the church can focus on its internal feud and come up with resolutions.
Speaking to the Sunday Standard, Mfazi, a rather vocal youth, said, “As the majority in the church, we want the troublemakers who have caused serious division and pain within the church to be expelled for the sake of peace and tranquility.”
He said there are a few individual troublemakers who are holding the church to ransom by manipulating all the church structures and the church leadership is unable to discipline them accordingly.
“As the congregation, we really don’t understand what kind of problem, if any, the individuals have against the church to the extent that the leadership is failing to take action against them,” he said.
Mfazi added that congregants from Mochudi West, which is made up of six churches, are expected to gather at Bokaa for the Good Friday Convention.
“We do not know why it was decided that the Good Friday should be celebrated in our church as everyone is aware of the infighting that might result in an unpleasant situation,” Mfazi said.
He strongly believes that the instability has the potential to result in loss of lives in the church of God and “that would be a disgrace to the nation”.
He expressed disappointment with how the Tribal Authority is handling their church disputes.
Mfazi accused the Tribal Authority of bias, saying that it is an attitude that cannot resolve the issues and will instead bring misery to the church, the Community and as well as the country at large.
“We approached the Bokaa Tribal Authority several times to lodge our complaints. They have failed to act but, instead, favour the trouble makers,” he said.
Mfazi said they tried to seek assistance from other congregations but the same faction refused their intervention and mediation.
He appealed to the church leadership to come to the table and resolve the church dispute.
Councilor Gerald Bodika of Bokaa Village said he is disappointed with church leadership for failing to resolve the differences of the two warring factions.
“This problem could have long been resolved but the church leadership is reluctant to call the two parties to the table,” he said.
Bodika warned the church members to stop the tendency of reporting each other to the Tribal Authority when they have disputes.
“Christians have a special way of resolving their problems. Personally, I feel that the church should close temporarily so that both factions can resolve their differences amicably,” Bodika said.
Contacted for comment, the church spokesperson, Thapelo Boikanyo, said he is not at ease to discuss the issue because the matter is still being investigated.
On whether the church can expel the troublemakers within the church his response was that, “I do not want to be drawn into any matter relating to the church but if either faction is of the view that those seen as troublemakers can be expelled from the church that would be their own view and not coming from the church leadership.”
Recently, congregants from the church factions that do not see eye to eye fought during a church service and two people were injured to the extent that they were rushed to the hospital.