Unity Fellowship Church (UFC) refuse to stand down against the City of Johannesburg as they protest a court order issued against them, to be evicted and demolish their church.
Unity Fellowship Church (UFC) organized a sit in outside the City Council of Johannesburg, May 15, 2017 against the eviction and demolition of the church building, after receiving a court order issued by the city.
UFC’s spokesperson Masindi Bhengwa Kwakwinda said, “The issue that we are here for is simple. After the city violated our rights, we deemed it that we come here and do a sit in. That is after we have done the whole process that when you have a grievance with the city either write a memorandum or apply for a march. That whole process had been exhausted.”
The church congregants believe their rights to worship have been violated and the city has been unwilling to engage with them. “The mayor ignored all the means of communication,” said Kwakwindi. UFC congregant Rotia Magoro said, “The want to evict us from the building we were using for church.”
The church members occupied the City Council parking lot, singing and chanting, “Viva Jesu. We have the power!”
Dr Mukhuba said the congregation wanted to engage with the city in order to address the issues pertaining to their eviction from the land and the demolition of the church.
The congregants grew agitated and angry and attempted to advance to the public square of the City Council. They shouted, “Awuyekh’ isonto lethu!” qand demanding Mashaba come out and address them. The police formed a human chain to prevent the congregants from advancing. “You can’t stop the court order here” said a JMPD officer.
After the meeting between UFC’s pastor Mukhuba, UFC church leaders and the city of Johannesburg’s representatives concluded, the Johannesburg’s city manager Dr Ndivhoniswani Lukhwareni gave the congregants a brief feedback on the meet said, “Tomorrow the church will sit with a town planner so you can have your brand new church in time. We have agreed to help the city move and whatever we do, must be done in a way that doesn’t inconvenience other people.”
The congregants were not happy and vehemently opposed Lukhwareni’s suggestion to make the complainant’s against the church happy. “Tshentsha Tshentsa Mashaba,” the church member’s began chanting.
Pastor Mukhuba finally addressed her congregants, “We built the church in a legal way, and we bought the land. Black people don’t have land and once you acquire land then they will evict you. A land which we have a title deed for.
“The struggle is not against the flesh and blood. The devil will achieve his mission anywhere but there is no one who is going to demolish a church. We serve a living God,” said Mukhuba.