I write to you concerning the recent articles published on News24 regarding Kwasizabantu. These articles shocked me to the core as they are nothing like what my own experience is of the mission.
My parents were introduced to the mission via some friends when they were young. My mom came out of a broken home where she experienced abuse as a child. When they came into contact with the mission, it was through the services there and the guidance of the leaders that they were able to change the direction of their lives and my life for the good.
I have therefore known the mission all my life. I attended services there and visited there, sometimes for months. I was privileged to stay with one of the choir members while we visited the mission. I remember her friendly face and she used to put a few slabs of swiss chocolate under my pillow whenever I came to visit her. This was so special to me and interestingly enough, she could hardly speak English. But this friendly choir member had a long lasting impact on the choices I made as I grew up. Her kindness has always stayed with me.
I had a wonderful experience every time I visited the mission. We were never forced to stay or go. I was not forced to go to services. No money was asked of us and we were offered 3 meals a day and accommodation for free. The kindness that we were shown by the leaders and families on the mission never came to an end. The leaders homes are always open to someone in need, no matter the hour of day or night. They have a genuine care for the needy and those who are in hopeless situations, no matter the person’s race or history.
The testimonies of changed individuals who went from living a life in the gutter to studying and working again. Many of them having been through a few rehabilitation centers that could not help them. Kwasizabantu is truly a place of healing and hope!
I am also aware of people who live there for free. The mission does not ask rent or payment for water and electricity. The businesses on the mission have provided housing and food. I am personally aware of the mission also helping people who live there by giving them jobs, transport, medical care and other financial support. How can this be a cult?
It would be detrimental for South Africa and especially for the community on and around the mission, should the businesses on the mission come to an end. The damage the media is causing will negatively impact thousands of lives and South Africa cannot afford this amidst the increased unemployment rate we are already facing.