Nellmapius residents in stand off with local churches

Angry residents of Nellmapius Extension 6 outside the church. Photo Supplied.

Angry Nellmapius residents again prevented congregants of two churches from entering their place of worship on Sunday as the feud escalated.

The residents of Nellmapius Extension 6 locked the gates to the churches forcing congregants to meet elsewhere for their Sunday sermon.

Rekord was informed that the residents had wanted to clean veld behind the church to create a recreational park when congregants ordered them to stop “because the land belonged to the church” while the residents insisted that the churches were the ones occupying the land illegally.

One church building is bricks and mortar while the other is a shipping container, and both share the same general area behind the fence.

ALSO READ: Church man celebrates after charges dropped

The residents were said to have threatened to shut down the churches and one was able to produce a title deed for the land.

That was when the community obtained a padlock and chain and locked the gate.

This had been the third Sunday in the standoff.

Resident Zandile Shibanmbu said the churches had failed to introduce themselves to the local community, and just started building on the vacant plot.

Shibanmbu said residents were not fighting the congregants using the container as they had done nothing to wrong the community since they started worshiping there in 2009.

But accused congregants of the other church of making a noise and not paying for water.

“They use water and toilets at a nearby school,” she said.

ALSO READ: March gains momentum at Church Square

The brick church leader had apparently told residents that the land had been given to the church by the municipality together with a title deeds while the container leader, pastor Elvis Mbangweni said the local councillor had given his church permission to use the land.

He said in 2012 and again in 2015 he had applied for ownership of the land but his request had been denied.

Shibanmbu said the area had no park for the children play hence the residents’ action.

“There is only one clinic in the whole of Nellmapius in Extension 1 and we walk a long distance to get there,” she said.

“The government should rather build a clinic on the plot instead of having letting people build churches everywhere.”

The brick wall church lead declined to comment.

On Sunday, residents had set up sound system and played loud music outside the church gate and the police were called to intervene.

ALSO READ: Church donates house.

No arrest was made but residents vowed to continue until the brick church is gone.

The residents said they wanted the Tshwane metro to tell them who had given the church the title deed and which community had consented to this because they were not consulted.

Do you have more information about the story? Please send us an email to editorial@rekord.co.za or phone us on 083 625 4114.

For free breaking and community news, visit Rekord’s websites:

Rekord East

Rekord North

Rekord Centurion

Rekord Moot

For more news and interesting articles, like Rekord on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram

 

  AUTHOR
Stephen Selaluke
Mamelodi journalist

Latest News

COMMENTS

Top
Next Story x
INFOGRAPHIC: One year on: remembering Ettienne