Seven Angel Ministries in Engcobo: CRL Rights Commission briefing, with Minister

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

20 March 2018
Chairperson: Mr M Mdakane (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA or “the committee”) met the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) to discuss the “Seven Angels” church and the events surrounding it.

The Chairperson of the Commission explained how the organisation had become aware of the church and the steps it had taken to avoid a dark outcome, given the churches ‘cult-like’ practices. Overall her view was that the CRL had done all within its power to shine light on church leaders and help those affected by the cult. In the discussion and in previous statements, she suggested that the Committee had not heeded her or the CRL’s warnings sufficiently with respect to the church. She also added that the CRL had been awaiting response from Parliament in order to intervene in the situation and the Committee had not accepted or acted on the CRL’s recommendations.

Several committee members took exception to her previous press statements, and her statements to the Committee in the meeting. They felt that the implications that the Committee had failed to act, or that it had been irresponsible, were unfair and misleading. Some members requested that she retract her statements. Members felt that her warnings were not as dire as she suggested subsequently. Other explained that the Committee had not rejected the recommendations, but that the law-making process was slow and that there were various obstacles to overcome. There was some discussion about the constitutionality of interfering in people’s religious beliefs- the CRL took the stance that in cases intervention is a moral imperative. Committee members expressed concern that the state should have minimal discretion over religious beliefs.

The CRL and the Committee agreed that a self-regulation mechanism, where organisations are peer-reviewed, would help to expose problematic institutions and regulate the sector, without the state being unduly involved.

The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs stated that the comments by the CRL chair were unfortunate. He urged committee members and CRL delegates to move beyond blame throwing and to work together to address the matters at hand. He felt that the creation of a code of conduct for religious practitioners, and that of a peer-review mechanism, were two points of agreement that should be taken forward as focal points.

Meeting report


The Chairperson welcomed everyone and asked that the delegation from the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) be introduced.

Ms Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva, Chairperson, CRL, introduced the delegates from the CRL. These were Deputy Chairperson Professor David Luka Mosoma, CEO Mr Edward Mafadza, Commissioner Mr Renier Stephanus Schoeman, and Commissioner Ms Bernedette Muthien.  

The Chairperson Mdadkane noted that Mr E Mthetha (ANC) was late but on his way.

Remarks by CRL Chairperson

Ms Xaluva explained that the CRL had not prepared a presentation as the purpose of the meeting was a discussion. The CRL had received a letter requesting that it appear before the Committee to discuss the matter of eNgcobo. She noted that there had been some communications problems between the CRL and the Committee. The CRL had held hearings about the state of religion in the country and had found that some religious organisations have cult-like tendencies.

Ms Xalavu explained that when the CRL received information from the media about a cult-like group in eNgcobo it made plans to meet with the group when travelling to the Eastern Cape. They discovered that there was a very problematic church that had been running since the 1980s. This church was taken over by the group known as “the seven angels,” after the presiding father [leader] of the church died in 2015. The church then became known as the “seven angels church”. The seven angels were brothers and their spending was excessive. Church members were giving their belongings and wealth to the church willingly at their own discretion. The clearest issue for the CRL was that there were children attending the church who had been cut off from school and other social services. 

Ms Xalavu continued. The CRL noted that the rest of the church congregation were not breaking any laws although there were cult-like practices. It is difficult for government to act if laws are not being broken. The CRL was told that money was kept in boxes or cupboards. However, at the time of the police raid, there was no money found on the premises, either because it had been hidden elsewhere or because the money had run out. The popularity of the church had been declining at the time of the raid. When the CRL met with the church it transpired that the angels had spent large amounts on expensive German cars. They had been spending funds rapidly.

Ms Xalavu explained that the angels claimed to have come from heaven and had been chosen [by God].  Unfortunately, there is no law against these types of claims. Church members were sincerely convinced that the seven brothers were indeed angels from heaven. The challenge for the CRL was to decide how to treat a cult that is clearly fictitious when adults are convinced by it. Adults had given their life’s savings to the church and this was a dangerous situation. Again, it was easier to deal with the case of the children as laws had been broken. The angels [the seven leaders] claimed that it was not them but the parents who had been withholding children from school. Some of the angels had never been to school.

Ms Xalavu stated that while some cults run like a kibbutz, where work is performed, at the seven angels church members did not work to sustain themselves. This indicated to the CRL that cult was not sustainable and would soon reach a troubling end.

The CRL had sent a commissioner to visit the village. They found out that the tradition leader in the area, and the surrounding community, had already tried to deal with the seven angels church in their own way, but this had been unsuccessful. The church had declared that a particular mountain in the area was the property of the church and the community had not been able to reclaim the mountain. The community was unhappy with the church although it was not fully aware of the practices of the church. The CRL was also unable to resolve this tension. The CRL indicated at the time that it supported the removal of the children from the church, which has performed by social workers. Again, it terms of the adults, there was nothing that the CRL could do to intervene.

CRL commissioner Mr Mosoma stated that the CRL and the Committee should do a full inquiry into the nature of religious cults in the country. The CRL had already convened a workshop on this matter. The workshop sought to understand the cultic element of religions. This was attended by a number of religious leaders, students, and academics. The CRL members came to realise that in all religions there is a cult-like element although the degree varies. In their view, only an extreme outcome in terms of consequences makes the cult problematic.  An element of extremism, which could lead to suicide, is sufficient cause for intervention. One has to wait until something dangerous happens to categorise it as requiring action. In the eNgcobo case there was a risk of suicide given that members had given up all their wealth and were promised they would meet Jesus in the next life.

Mr Mthethwa took issue with the statements made [to the media] by Ms Xalavu, suggesting that she had raised the [seven angels] issue with the Committee and that it had not taken her warnings seriously enough. He did not recall such a serious warning being made by the CRL to the Committee. It was therefore wrong to conclude that the events that happened at eNgcobo were due to failings of the committee, as the statement suggested. Secondly, he wanted Ms Malavu to explain how the CRL found proof of the excessive spending of the seven angels, and what the proof was.

Mr K Mileham (DA) stated that what happened at eNgcobo was a tragedy and that the Committee must extend its condolences. He then had three queries. Firstly, he asked whether the statements made by the chair of the CRL were made in her personal capacity or as a representative of the CRL as a whole? Secondly, he queried whether the CRL representatives understood the parliamentary process: The CRL report recommended that legislation be amended. This is an extremely time-consuming process. He commented that even if the Committee had started the process the previous October when the issues was first raised, a Bill would have taken at least six months to pass. What did she expect the Committee or Parliament to do?

Mr Mileham’s third query regarded congregants in the church – did the CRL truly believe that these individuals were at the church voluntarily and not coerced to be part of the church? Had the CRL chair reviewed the Constitutional Court judgement’s regarding religious belief. He referenced the case of Price vs. the Presiding Officer of the Cape Law Society. The judgement said that people are free to believe in something regardless of the logical (or lack thereof) of the belief. Individuals are entitled to their beliefs. It is not for the Committee or the CRL to make judgements about the validity of a belief. If she disagrees, does she mean to say she disagrees with the judgement of the Constitutional Court? 

Mr Mileham also queried whether the CRL had taken steps to implement the actions the Committee recommended specifically the proposal to hold a national conference which would establish a national religious charter and a code of conduct for religious practices. Have any steps been taken to refer criminal matters to the relevant law enforcement authorities? Lastly, he asked how the chair would respond to the claim by the Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Social Development in the Eastern Cape, that the CRL had blocked the provincial department of social development from taking action against the Seven Angels Church in 2016?

Mr N Khubisa (NFP) asked the CRL chair when she had become aware of the seven angels church. Clearly, the CRL knew at the time it had decided to consult with the social development department. Who else did it consult and what were the results? Secondly, the Commissioner spoke about visiting the church directly; if so, what was the way of life within the church and the quality of life of the angels? Were there similar religious practices in other areas? Did the CRL make consultations and interventions in these other cases? How did the CRL come to know the details of the Angels spending? How much did they collect and how so?

Mr X Ngwezi (IFP) echoed previous members; he felt that the statements made by the CRL chair were “reckless”. The statement that the Committee did not take the CRL’s report sufficiently seriously should be retracted. The Committee had suggested that a code of conduct be created [they had not ignored or dismissed the report]. Like Mr Khubisa he asked how, given that the church did not use a bank account, the CRL had proved the money was being spent in the opulent way she described.

Ms B Maluleke (ANC) commented that a written presentation would have provided a better record of the CRL’s inputs. She agreed that the issue had not been handled well by the chair of the CRL. The CRL chair mentioned that she had organised transport for the church. Specifically, who was this transport for and for what purpose? What was the response from the church?

Mr N Masondo (ANC) stated that the Committee supported the constitution and freedom of religion; members did not intend to control or limit religion. The question of the treatment of a cult is a different matter and the dangers are clear to see. The idea of having education programmes as raised in workshops was an excellent idea.

Mr Masondo commended the intervention by the police. He asked what could have been done differently by the relevant parties to avoid such a tragic outcome in the future. What will be done with the CRL to work with religious scholars and leaders to investigate and shine light on these dangerous cults?

Mr Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, stated that the eNgcobo tragedy had been traumatising for all those affected. It reflects the worst aberration that can occur within the wide range of practices that are religious. However, he agreed that is not up to Parliament to decide which beliefs are valid and which are not. The tragedy raises many questions for Parliament.

Minister Mkhize noted that he had received several written reports from CRL. A report was tabled and processed for a period of six months and this process was completed in January 2018. The work that the CRL had done to research the matter was commendable. He urged the CRL and the Committee to move on from previous disagreements and work together. An important point is the protocol when criminal instances are reported: this case is relatively clear – the relevant authorities must be alerted. There are other practices that are more of a grey area (he provided examples of people ingesting unusual foods, or being sprayed with fumigation products), where more guidance is needed on the correct approach.

Minister Mkhize stated that the comments by the CRL were unnecessary but that members should move on. He noted that in many cases churches themselves had brought issues to Parliament or to the CRL. There is space to work with existing churches and organisations to assist them in self-regulation. He supported the proposal for a summit to be held. There was a proposal for new legislation – if this route is taken it must be constitutional and reflect a supporting role and not a controlling of religious practice. He reminded members that the CRL is independent and that the role of the Committee was one of support.

Mr Mthethwa stated that the Committee had not been hostile towards the CRL and had tried to be cooperative. But the CRL Chairperson’s comments were a problem and interfered with cooperation. Her statements suggested that the Committee or a part of government had been sitting idle and this had allowed the eNgcobo incident to occur. If the CRL chairperson had tabled a report with someone such as the [previous] Minister, she should have been clear in her comment who she was indicting for been unresponsive and in what specific regard. Her comments were problematioc as they unfairly suggested that the Committee was to blame.

Ms Xalavu responded to members’ questions. She stated that the CRL had raised the dangers of the eNgcobo church in its report to the Committee, specifically on page 26. The matter was also raised in the workshop with the Portfolio Committee in June [2017]. It was raised in a meeting and the CRL also discussed the matter with the media and in public on several occasions. There is a video clip where the chair herself predicted that a death would occur. They were described as extremists in the report. The CRL was very clear about the danger. The term ‘cult’ was not used as ‘extremism’ seemed more accurate. She could readily provide proof of these warnings but agreed with the Minister that the Committee and the CRL should move on to work together.

Ms Xalavu explained that the CRL had repeatedly noted that there was no law in South Africa to assist people at risk, if their actions were voluntary. The constitutionality is complex in this regard because there are conflicting human rights such as between the right to religious freedom and the rights to life and dignity.

Ms Xalavu responded to Ms Maluleke. The CRL often deals with poorer communities and it is normal for them to provide transport so that community members can attend meetings. In the eNcgobo case, the church stated that members did not need transport. When representatives from the church arrived at the meeting they were driving expensive German-made cars. They also told the chairperson that no one was working at the church. A church representative said that the Angels had a lot of cars. This was the proof of reckless spending – in verbal communications and observations. She agreed that the events that transpired were a tragedy.

Ms Xalavu suggested that the trauma from the tragedy was worse for members of the CRL as they had seen it coming and had described the church as a “ticking time bomb”. The CRL had recommended previously that a charter and a code of ethics be formulated. That statement was made on the very same day the Angels attacked the police. The CRL had worked over two years to come up with the best proposal possible. It had considered evidence within the country and in the international context, in light of the constitution. It has been the daily work of the CRL and it had observed much tragedy. She suggested that a national summit or consultation was not strong enough as a policy – a charter or something “tighter” was necessary. There must be a law to deal with problematic religious practices. A dialogue that distinguishes the line between a religious practice, a cult, and a criminal organisation is necessary. Parliament should have responded faster; the public had expected more radical intervention. There was a long period where the CRL was simply waiting for a response from the Committee.   

Ms Xalavu responded to Mr Mileham. The CRL understands the processes of Parliament. She reminded members that the CRL Rights Amendment Bill was proposed to the Committee by the Commission. They are waiting for reflections from Parliament on the report; the Department had done what it needed to do and could not move further without communication from Parliament.

Ms Xalavu continued. Many adults are sane individuals who are aware of what is happening to them but still voluntarily obey church leadership. At the same time, often church members or surrounding community members are aware that they are oppressed or traumatised by “religious” leaders.

Ms Xalavu stated that the church leaders were fully aware of the truth of the situation [she is suggesting that they did not themselves believe in the supernatural element of their religious claims – they were lying]. In these cases, leaders use the belief of followers to abuse their rights, such as the right to life and dignity. The fact that people are participating willingly in their own oppression is not enough to make the situation acceptable: freedom of religion cannot be an endless freedom that facilitates this exploitation. Usually it is not belief in general that is the problem, but the ability of leaders to exploit other’s beliefs. In eNgcobo, from the CRL perspective, the problem is not that people believed the leaders were angels, the problem was that the “angels” were willing to lie about being angels. These people prey on the vulnerable and they are the problem. There needs to be a peer-review mechanism by which other religious institutions can investigate a problematic church and determine the severity of the situation.

Ms Xalavu stated that the CRL had taken action against illegal activities. Several individuals had laid charges against prominent [church/cult] leaders through the CRL. This was in consultation with the police. There was no dispute in the case of the children; the church should be prosecuted, and the children removed. The CRL was firm on this matter. The MEC had spoken to Ms Xalavu via cell phone and she had made it clear that the CRL did not have any intention to inhibit their work. The MEC was made aware that the CRL was happy for them to intervene and “fetch the children”.

Ms Xalavu responded to Mr Khubisa. The CRL became aware of the seven angels in 2016 through a media report. She reminded the Committee that the CRL did not have a strong presence out in [the rural areas of] the provinces. Things in these areas become visible to the CRL through the mainstream press and via social media. Once it was aware, the CRL met with and interviewed the church. The Eastern Cape commissioner from the CRL, Ms Pumla Madiba, met with the community and the local Inkosi (chief). At the time, the community and church members seemed healthy which is evident in the video footage of the trip. The CRL at the time asked the community to inform them should ‘cultish’ practices arise in the eNgcomo area.

Ms Xalavu explained that the difficultly remains in defining a ‘cult’. Often a person is deeply mentally and emotionally committed to the religion, making them hard to reason with. The interventions that the CRL can perform are therefore limited to an extent. The CRL provides education, information, awareness and encourages peers to be involved in cross monitoring.  

Ms Xalavu explained that there was no hard evidence regarding the church’s budget. The Angels Church is not a registered organisation and does not have a budget in the normal sense. Money was kept in cash in cupboards. There were roughly 200 people living [at the church building], none of whom were earning income although the church still had expenses.

Ms Xalavu responded to criticism that the CRL had not acted sufficiently to implement its recommendations. She stated that those asking why little had been done should “ask Parliament”. If the Committee had implemented a peer-review mechanism as recommended in the CRL’s report, the angels would have been exposed. Only an attack of the angel’s credibility backed by Parliament would have been sufficient to solve the problem. Instead the Committee stated that it would take a different route and investigate a charter and a code of conduct. The final report from Parliament, by her understanding, rejected the CRL’s proposals. The Committee must answer as to why the proposals were inappropriate. 

Ms Xalavu stated that the Minister was correct: the CRL and the Committee should move forward with existing proposals and ideas. The CRL will respond to the Committee’s proposals. The charter idea was submitted to the Committee three years ago by the CRL and this idea does not need to be developed further. The CRL was calling for a national dialogue and this proposal had a separate commissioner specifically addressing it.

Ms Xalavu responded to Ms Maluleke. The input from the CRL is verbal and not in writing; the CRL was told in writing that it did not need to prepare a presentation as the purpose of the meeting was a discussion.

Ms Xalavu commented that Mr Masondo’s statement was in line with the views of the CRL – there was no intention to regulate or abolish religion. But one can regulate religious practitioners as this is a profession. Other professions are regulated. The CRL is committed to holding a workshop and a national dialogue on the code of ethics. The matter was regularly discussed by the CRL in international conferences. In terms of eNgcobo, there needs to be some kind of enquiry into what happened. There are other religious groups with cult-like tendencies. Government needs to investigate more closely and to work with the police. Before laws are broken, if the practices are cult-like, authorities should monitor the situation more closely.  

The Chairperson agreed that there should be a peer review mechanism and that a code of conduct must be developed (via consultative forum) which is recognised by legislation. These were points of agreement between the CRL and the Committee. It was now necessary to change the tone to discuss how these would be implemented. Laws need to go through the National Assembly. Legislation must be strengthened. However, no one should regulate a religion in a chapter 9 or a parliamentary sense. The sector needs to have the necessary tools to self-regulate. He agreed that it cannot be correct for the state not to support vulnerable members of society even if they are voluntarily at the church. This is another principle agreed on. Details can be discussed but, in most regards, the most important principles are agreed upon. The committee did not reject the CRL proposals. Therefore, the discussion needs to move on to consider implementation.

The Chairperson noted that one point of difference between the Committee and the CRL was on the organogram provided by the CRL. Chapter 9 institutions are part of the state -they are not separate, and they account to the state. Religious representatives agreed on self-regulation and a code of conduct and in general they were not opposed. They stressed that the broader part of the sector included millions of people that were perfectly happy. It is a few problematic individuals causing issues and those people must be dealt with without interfering with the operations of the healthy portion.

The Chairperson expressed that some of the confusion may have arisen from the articulation of the CRL. The CRL was suggesting that its’ recommendations were vastly different to the status quo and that these would have solved the problem if implemented by the committee. Particularly, the CRL suggested that cult-like situations should be monitored closely, and the authorities brought in if activities are illegal. This is already the situation and in the case of eNcgobo the police were brought in. It is unfortunate that the situation escalated but it is not clear that this represents a failure of the Committee. There were delays in the parliamentary procedures, which was quite normal. It was not correct to imply that the Committee was responsible for the amount of time it takes to create law. There are hundreds of reports being considered for adoption at a given time.

Ms Maluleke stated that the CRL chair claimed the Committee had rejected the report in their response. This was a misleading statement as the Committee agreed with the bulk of the report. However, the Committee could not support state-regulation of religion: as discussed, the sector should be assisted to self-regulate. Peer review is an appropriate mechanism. She felt that the Chairperson should be clearer in that there were some points of disagreement between the CRL and the Committee and that the Ms Xalavu’s comments were misleading. Ms Maluleke did not recall the phase “ticking time-bomb” being used in conversation or in a report from the CRL. The CRL language suggests that Parliament knew the events at eNgcobo were going to transpire and chose to ignore the matter. If the CRL clearly indicated that deaths and the like were going to occur, and the Committee did nothing, she conceded that the Committee was in the wrong. However, she did not recall such strong warnings or language being used.

Mr Mileham took exception to the chair referring to the interaction process between the CRL and the Committee as a game. It is a serious matter and members took the matters very seriously. He explained that sexual exploitation is a criminal offense. If there was any evidence of this, did the CRL report the matter to the appropriate authorities? It is clear what precedent rules exist when there is criminal activity – the police, justice system and courts must deal with it. It is not for the CRL to determine what is or is not a crime or how to deal with it. The CRL stated to the media that it wanted to take the matter to the Constitutional Court for a ruling as to whether or not Parliament should pass the legislation suggested in the report. Is the CRL proceeding with that, how far is the application, and what did it seek to achieve that Parliament was not already doing?

Mr Mileham continued. It is well established that the state cannot take doctrinal position on religion. Yet, the CRL chair seems to think she or the CRL deserves the power to determine who is and who is not being sincere when they describe themselves as an angel. What about the case of a prophet or other religious figures? Can the state and the CRL tell society which religious claims are correct or not? There is only one line in the report that discusses who will make these types of determinations and it states that the CRL is the final arbiter. According to Mr Mileham this was the reason the Committee rejected the report.

Mr Mileham stated that the Committee had considered the CRL’s views and the views of several representatives including religious stakeholders. The Committee took a decision. The recommendation was that the CRL facilitate the consultative dialogue or forum wherein the religious sector could decide for itself how it is to be regulated. This was already decided on. Only with an express request from religious society would a direct intervention by the state have credibility. He agreed with the Chairperson that this was already decided and that the matter needed to be moved forward.

Mr Ngwezi felt that the comments by the CRL chair were unfair.  The Committee was traumatised by the issue and the Committee did not act or respond irresponsibly. It is unfair of the CRL chair to describe the CRL as though only CRL members were traumatised. He agreed with Mr Mileham, that sexual exploitation was criminal and that there were laws to deal with it. Perhaps there is a way Parliament can fast track or facilitate persecution in these cases.

Mr Khubisa also expressed dissatisfaction with the comments of the CRL chair. He then suggested that it might be useful to investigate the financial situation of a cult to forecast their behaviour. It seems likely that it is when the money runs out that the church members or leaders end up performing crimes and there being murders or suicides. He agreed that as soon as criminal activity is observed it must be reported. Peer-review mechanisms are a welcome exercise and would assist the monitoring and management of practices. A summit to discuss these mechanisms is welcome.

Mr Mthethwa agreed with Ms Maluleke that there had been no use of the term “time bomb” by the CRL. Another reason the Committee had not adopted the recommendations in the report was that there were several religious organizations who had complained that they were not consulted. The Committee had requested that the CRL go back and do a more thorough consultation. The report was not rejected in its entirety. It is unfortunate and misleading to suggest that the CRL had handed a “correct answer” to the Committee, who had simply rejected it. There was no evidence brought to the Committee of criminal activity or a “ticking time bomb”. Again, the police must be notified if there are criminal activities. He stated that the CRL chair should tell the Committee now if there were any criminalities going on that the Committee would later be blamed for. 

Mr J Dube (ANC) agreed that the CRL chairperson’s statements were misleading and should be retracted.

Minister Mkhize stated that the CRL is expected by law to report directly to Parliament. The CRL should acknowledge that the statement cast the Committee in an undue, negative light.  The recommendations raised by the CRL were indeed based on a lot of work. However, immediate interventions in the case of criminality do not lie in the hands of Parliament in an emergency. The issue moving on is how to avoid another tragedy. The CRL and the Committee needed to unite to create a solution. He sympathised with the CRL in terms of their small budget. He agreed with the Chairperson that there was no disagreement regarding the idea that self-regulation and peer-review was the correct approach. All members and delegates in the room are charged to resolve these challenges avoid finding themselves in another crisis situation where blame is simply thrown around. The implications of the CRL chair’s statements are unfortunate; we should acknowledge this and move on.

Ms Xalavu made concluding remarks. The CRL facilitated the reporting of criminal activity. The CRL accompanied victims to lay charges when there was criminal activity. The same was true for the case of sexual abuse; the CRL has facilitated the laying of charges. Where there were overt criminal transgressions the CRL has helped complainants to lay charges. In some cases, victims were embarrassed that they were misled or abused and did not want to lay chargers, although they are willing to discuss what had happened.  This is why there should be internal mechanisms in the church to support these individuals.

Ms Xalavu responded to Mr Mileham. The CRL’s recommendations needed a declaratory order regarding whether its recommendations were constitutional or not. Only the constitutional court can produce a declaratory order on this matter. This has nothing to do with Parliament but rather the constitutionality of the CRL rights recommendations. The media reported that the CRL was taking Parliament to court, but this was misleading. The CRL had held a press conference to explain the situation and following this the media reported the matter correctly.

Mr Mileham responded that he had asked what the status of the application to the constitutional court was. Has the application been submitted, and how far into the process is it with the court? He did not ask why the application was being made.    

Ms Xalavu responded that lawyers were still working on the application. The CRL was getting legal advice and making consultations regarding constitutionality. So, it was “still with the lawyers” [and has not been submitted to the constitutional court]. 

The Chairperson made concluding remarks. There would be subsequent meetings between the CRL and the Committee. He saw no harm in the CRL applying to the constitutional court for a declaratory order. The statement made by the CRL to the media was unfortunate; Members agreed on this. The CRL chairperson has been rebuked for this comment; the Committee and the CRL should now move on. There are cult-like organisations still operating in the country and this would be the focus from there on. He thanked the Minister and the CRL delegates for attending.

The meeting was adjourned.



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