Erlo Stegen, the leadership of KSB and crime.
Lydia, Thofozi Dube was the prime witness to the gospel preached by Erlo Stegen and one of the most prominent workers at KSB until the middle of the year 2000. She is the much spoken of person who “died and came back to life” in 1973. Dr. Kurt Koch, the well-known German theologian, wrote a complete book on this epic journey to heaven and back. “Im Paradies” records how she seemingly met Jesus in heaven but He sent her back to earth to comfort her crying friends and family and to testify to the truth. Now, 27 years later, this ‘prime witness’ has become a criminal. She organized her own kidnapping with the help of certain dubious characters from the Durban netherworld. Unlucky for them, Miss Dube’s personal bodyguard was grievously hurt during the “kidnapping”(it is strange that bodyguards have to protect the preachers at KSB!)
A so-called kidnapping in association with dubious characters; people being bodily hurt; cover-up tactics by Erlo Stegen and KSB’s leadership – all this ‘monkey business’ in whose name? That is why we declare: DECEIT – DECEIVERS – DECEIVED. However, Erlo Stegen sticks to his guns and stays true to his co-leaders!
As a longtime co-worker, Barney Mabaso personally saw how shamelessly this situation was handled. He, together with his whole congregation, separated from KSB. Other congregations, who had had enough of the evil devises of Stegen, followed suite. Since then, European supporters of Stegen, like Hans Kohler and his congregation from Switzerland, immediately stopped their support of the Tugela Ferry Congregation. The leadership of KSB went so far as to initiate legal action against Mabaso and the congregation at Tugela Ferry in order to obtain the property belonging to them. Letters were sent to Europe trying to persuade various supporters there to issue statements to the effect that the money previously given to Mabaso’s congregation was actually meant for the work of KSB. This would enable them to prove, in a court off law, that the properties and buildings in Tugela Ferry actually belong to KSB. Although it is a fact that the congregation at Tugela Ferry once associated with KSB, Stegen’s efforts have fortunately failed.
The following is a factual reconstruction of the whole dismal affair, constructed from the testimonies of eyewitnesses, documents, video recording etc. For clarification: Thofozi = Miss Thofozi, Lydia Dube;
KSB = Kwa Sizabantu Mission
Friday, 12 September 1997:
Barney Mabaso, leader of the congregation at Tugela Ferry, received a phone call from KSB to inform him that Thofozi was kidnapped while on holiday in the coastal town of Umhlali. Her bodyguard, Thobekile Mhlongo, was seriously hurt and in hospital. (Mabaso is the founder of the congregation at Tugela Ferry. Since his repentance to Christianity through the ministry of Stegen, he has faithfully labored there.)
Saturday, 13 September 1997:
Mabaso received another call from KSB to tell him that Thofozi had been found on a public road in Durban and that she was unhurt. Thobekile was still in a very serious condition in the hospital at the time.
Wednesday, 22 March 2000: (About two and a half years later)
Two co-workers from KSB, Thulani Sabela and Sipho Mbeje arrived at Tugela Ferry. They told Mabaso that another co-worker, Justice Cele told them a very disturbing story. (Justice Cele is amongst other things also involved with the security work at KSB and works closely together with Jannie le Roux who operates a security firm in Greytown)
Seemingly Jannie le Roux received a telephone call from Koos Greeff. (He is the son-in-law of Friedel Stegen and a former co-worker at KSB) Koos asked Jannie le Roux to bring to light the truth behind the so-called kidnapping that Le Roux, Thofozi and Heidi Slabbert had arranged. (Heidi Slabbert was the former bodyguard to Thofozi but had been removed from her position, replaced by Fikile Mkhabela. (Thofozi and Slabbert wanted to have her removed in order that Slabbert could be re-instated)
Justice Cele asked Jannie if this was the truth and he admitted to it. He then asked him whether Erlo Stegen knew about it, to which Jannie responded that it did not worry him whether Stegen knew or not. According to him it was not his responsibility to inform Stegen. Justice asked Jannie to report this whole incident to Erlo Stegen immediately. He went to Thulani Sabela and Sipho Mbeje and discussed the story with them.
Following this Thulani and Sipho first went to Me Nsibande, one of the so-called “Mamas” at KSB, and a very senior member of the leadership. Because of her advice they then went to see Erlo Stegen personally and discussed the matter with him. Trusting that he, as the leader of the work, would take the necessary steps in this regard, they left the responsibility with him.
A few weeks went past and nothing came of the matter. Then Justice Cele came back to Sipho and Thulani asking them what had happened. They replied that since speaking to Stegen, they have had no reaction or feedback from him or anybody else on the matter. Together they again went to Ma Nsibande, who once again directed them to Stegen. They had another talk with Stegen and again waited for a few days. Nothing transpired. In desperation they went to Tugela Ferry to speak to Barney Mabaso.
Mabaso was at that stage a very senior worker of Stegen’s, and had earned himself respect worldwide for his honest ways, truthful preaching and powerful leadership. They told Mabaso the whole story and shared with him their concern about Stegen’s obvious failure to take control of the situation. Mabaso waited a few days, and according to his fellow workers, prayed earnestly for wisdom and guidance. He kept the scandal to himself.
Monday, 3 April 2000:
Barney Mabaso traveled to Kwa Sizabantu and had a long discussion with Ma Nsibande. He shared with her the fact that Thulani Sabela and Sipho Mbeje came to him some days before and told him the whole story about Thofozi’s ‘kidnapping’. He stated his desire to speak to Erlo Stegen personally, for he was very concerned about the matter. Ma Nsibande encouraged him to do so and said that she was very happy that he had brought the matter up.
Mabaso then proceeded to speak to Erlo Stegen in person and repeated the whole story to him. He related that Thulani and Sipho came to him; the story of the fake kidnapping, and their concern about the handling of the matter. Stegen acknowledged to Mabaso that he knew about the latter. Together they went to the flat of Ma Nsibande (the so-called room NR 5), where Stegen, Mabaso, Nsibande and Thofozi Dube all gathered for a discussion. Again Mabaso repeated the whole matter and then confronted Thofozi directly, asking her whether it is true that she had organized her own kidnapping. Thofozi denied having had anything to do with it, and according to Mabaso said: “No, absolutely no. The whole story is a fabrication.” According to her she had no knowledge of why, by whom, for what purpose and who organized the whole kidnapping.
Later that day they had another meeting. This time there were 12 co-workers, including Stegen, in attendance. Amongst others, Thulani Sabela and Sipho Mbeje were present. Stegen opened the meeting in a prayer and than proceeded to speak. According to eyewitnesses he was quite aggravated and challenged the perpetrators of this scandal to speak their minds. It was clear that Stegen wanted to get this matter over and done with. The whole story was again revealed. Once again Thofozi denied any knowledge of it. In tears she said that she was completely innocent and knew nothing of the story. After this meeting Mabaso went home.
Sunday, 16 April 2000:
An engagement service was held at Tugela Ferry and Erlo Stegen was asked to take the sermon at this meeting. Afterwards he was confronted by some members of the congregation who felt that a cover-up of the reasons for, and true facts surrounding the ‘kidnapping” of Thofozi, was taking place. Stegen craftily managed to side step the issue. He only stated that it was a very difficult and sensitive situation as the kidnappers had threatened to kill any person trying to expose them. Barney Mabaso then asked Stegen: “But Baba, have we now stopped fearing God and are we now afraid to die?” Erlo did not respond to the latter.
Later during that same evening some of the workers of Tugela Ferry congregation, visited the tribal chief of Msinga district (Chief Mabaso). He shared with them that Erlo Stegen had visited him earlier that afternoon and that he had a strange discussion with Stegen. Seemingly Stegen had asked the chief whether he had anything negative to say about Barney Mabaso’s actions of late.
It was clear that Erlo Stegen was already mounting a smear campaign against Barney Mabaso. This was later confirmed by the letters, sermons and actions of the so-called “revival preacher”.
Tuesday, 18 April 2000:
Another meeting of co-workers was held at KSB concerning the ‘kidnapping’. Erlo Stegen opened the meeting and then gave Thofozi a chance to speak. After having denied any association with her ‘kidnappers’ in two public meetings, she then proceeded to take another course of action. “Brethren” she said. “Please forgive me. I want to acknowledge that I lied to you in our previous meetings. Actually I knew about this ‘kidnapping’. Jannie le Roux came to me to complain about the low standard or the security system at KSB. He wanted to give them a “wake-up call”. His plan was to kidnap either uncle Erlo or my mother. I suggested to him to leave my mother out of this as she suffers from high blood pressure and her health might probably be seriously impaired in such an exercise. I also asked him to leave uncle Erlo out of it for he is the most important person at KSB and his ‘kidnapping’ will bring about a lot of vexation. I then suggested to him that they should rather kidnap me. I am so sorry that I have lied to you all.”
Everybody was shocked – a deathly silence followed. A question was then directed at Erlo Stegen: “Baba, did you know of this beforehand.” Stegen denied any foreknowledge of the matter. “I have heard it only now” was his answer. Then Barney Mabaso spoke up: “Baba, what Thofozi is saying is not the truth. She is trying to deceive you into believing that she was willing to be ‘kidnapped’ in your stead, thereby concealing the true reason for the ‘kidnap’. She is an evil person and must be removed from our midst as a co-worker immediately. She must be sent away from KSB otherwise the working of God will be hindered in this place.”
According to eyewitnesses Erlo Stegen said: ” But she has confessed her sin and we must give her the chance to repent of her ways and to show forth the fruits of repentance.” Stegen did not have any doubts in his mind as to the reason that Thofozi gave for her ‘kidnapping’. He unconditionally accepted her lame excuse and did not proceed to ask her any questions.
Erlo Stegen’s actions in this regard are very strange If, for instance, a young girl at the school on KSB sends a love letter to a boy, she would be expelled immediately from the school and sent away from KSB. Here a very senior leader at KSB is involved in clear criminal activity, yet Stegen immediately applied some lenient standard of forgiveness. It is clear that he just wanted to sweep this whole saga under the mat and cover it up.
The rest of the meeting was wasted in an unfruitful discussion between Stegen, Mabaso and Ma Nsibande. Mabaso felt she should be sent away immediately. Stegen felt she should be forgiven, and Nsibande felt it was irresponsible to send her away as she was sick. They failed to make a proper decision and the matter was left as is. Weeks went past and nothing concrete was done about it. Every now and then Barney would receive telephone calls from various co-workers at KSB sharing with him their concern about this ‘cover-up’ Towards the end of May Barney felt he could no longer hide the truth from his fellow workers at Tugela Ferry. He proceeded to inform them about the whole matter.
1: On the 16th April (two days before) Erlo Stegen suddenly revealed new information about the kidnapping. They had threatened to kill any person wanting to expose the kidnappers. If this was a planned kidnapping, orchestrated by Thofozi, who were these kidnappers and why did they now threaten to kill people?
2: If this was only a ‘war-game’ to check the efficiently of the security system of KSB, why would the kidnappers have used such excessive force to bodily harm an innocent bodyguard. Why would they now threaten to kill people?
3: If Thofozi was truly repentant, why had she not spoken up about this matter beforehand. (Taking into consideration that she had witnessed the suffering of her bodyguard for years). Did she truly repent prompted by her conscience, or was it under duress?
4: If things had simply gone wrong during this ‘security exercise’, why did she and Jannie le Roux not acknowledge it openly. There is no rational reason for hiding this truth?
5: Was there no other legal way to perform this ‘security exercise?
6: Who were these kidnappers? Were they paid for their job, and by whom?
7: Why were they so violent?
8: Was this not just a renewed effort by Thofozi and now Erlo Stegen as well, to hide the real reason for the ‘kidnapping’?
9: Why was Heidi Slabbert involved in the planning of this ‘kidnapping’? Why did Thofozi still have contact with her seeing that she was sent away from KSB on the grounds of being involved in Satanism? How can one of the most senior co-workers of KSB still associate with a person that was expelled for Satanism?
10: What about the rumors that Heidi Slabbert wanted to be re-instated as bodyguard to Thofozi and that they together planned to have Fikile Mkhabela ‘eliminated’.
Intelligent co-workers and other observers were asking all these questions and many more. Instead of clearing things up, Erlo Stegen proceeded to created a far worse situation.
Sunday, 28 May 2000:
Barney met Fano Sibisi and had a discussion with him. Fano is amongst other, Chairman of the board of Radio Kwezi, President of Christians for Truth and also brother-in-law to Thofozi Dube. He is one of Erlo Stegen’s senior co-workers. Barney asked him why nothing had come of their previous meetings on the ‘kidnapping’. Fano then asked him what his views on the situation were.
Quite surprised Barney answered: “I am shocked that you can ask me such a question. From the beginning of the Revival, God taught us His standards of truth and sin, and how to deal with people living in sin. Uncle Erlo has spoken the blatant truth from the beginning with no leniency for sinners or evildoers. I am warning you people at KSB. You deal with this ‘kidnapping’ as if it were a small matter and of little consequence. I am gravely concerned about this issue.”
Fano undertook to share Barney’s concern with the leadership at KSB, although they already knew about it.
Another week went past and there was still not word from the leadership of KSB. Barney consequently called Fano at KSB and asked him about his failure to report back to him. Fano stated that he had not erred to speak to Erlo Stegen and the so-called “Mamas” about Barney’s concern. “I told them everything you said”, he stated.
Barney again stated emphatically to Fano that the leadership at KSB was playing with sin in their dealing with this matter. Barney also told Fano that he could no longer ignore the stories running about and that he had to inform some of the most senior members of his congregation about the matter.
Fano was worried about this, as he felt that the painful shortcomings of the leaders of KSB were not a matter of discussion amongst ordinary church members. He agreed to speak to the KSB leadership again.
Thursday, 8 June 2000:
Barney received a phone call from Fano Sibisi informing him of a planned meeting that evening (18:00) at KSB. Barney decided to take three of his most senior church members along and that he would not notify the leaders at KSB of their coming. He planned to simply announce their presence at the meeting. He decided on this plan of action for it was clear to him that he needed some eyewitnesses from his own congregation to confirm what was said and done in the meeting. Barney was, at this stage, confiding to close friends that he doubted the integrity of the leadership at KSB. He felt they were collaborating with Thofozi in hiding the truth about the “kidnapping episode”.
The four men from Tugela Ferry arrived at KSB some time before the planned meeting was scheduled to begin. During that time Barney spoke to some of the co-workers who had also attend the previous meeting. They claimed to know nothing of this new meeting. When they eventually gathered, people that were never involved in the previous discussion arrived. These included Friedel Stegen, Arno Stegen, Kjell Olsen and his wife Margrit. Other co-workers also came but were asked to leave. Erlo said that they would not understand the situation. He allowed his close supporters to stay. It was clear what his strategy was; the close circle KSB leadership circle were there to combine forces and to effectively manipulate the meeting, sweeping the whole problem under the mat.
Erlo Stegen opened the meeting in prayer. He then proceeded with his trickery by saying: “As has been agreed upon at our previous meeting, I have now gone and prayed earnestly about what should be done with Thofozi. God spoke to me clearly and I now know what to do about this matter.”
Barney Mabaso acknowledged later in private that he was completely taken aback by this new move. It was never suggested or agreed upon that Stegen should handle this problem alone; as indicated by the previous meeting’s failure to reach any kind of agreement. This new move was a total usurpation of authority. It was a well-planned, deceitful game. Erlo Stegen then proceeded to give Thofozi an opportunity to address the meeting.
She repeated her previous tale of wanting to “shock” the security sister into a higher standard of efficiency, and how she had offered to be kidnapped rather than Erlo or her mother. Immediately Erlo proceeded to give his verdict on her confession. She will be released from all responsibilities as a co-worker. She would stay at KSB for he was unsure as to where he should send her.
(Now this type of ‘punishment’ has happened previously as well. A certain co-worker that was involved with various women sexually was also ‘released’ from his duties but proceeded to stay at KSB. Whilst he was under this ‘punishment’ he happily proceeded with his molestation of young girls. The fact that this ‘dry rot’ persisted in their midst, was of no concern to the leadership of KSB).
Immediately following Erlo, his brother Friedel Stegen spoke. In a typical soulless manner, he dutifully supported his brother’s decision. Although this was the first time that he was present in any of these meetings, he addressed Thofozi as such: “Thofozi, I thank God that He has worked in your heart so that you could humble yourself in our presence and confess your sin before us. I also thank God that He has spoken to our leader and has revealed to him what he must do. I believe that I speak on behalf of all of us gathered here, and on behalf of the congregation. We forgive you and we all stand behind Erlo in his decision.”
Following him Ma Nsibande spoke. She also used the plural form of speech as is so common of the manipulative manner in which the Stegen’s addresses people. “We thank God. We pray for you Thofozi and we are so thankful that he has worked in your heart. “
This was another typical example of group-manipulation. Later on Barney told close friends that he was burning with indignation at this deceitful trickery. He then spoke his mind and immediately a huge confrontation ensued. Eyewitnesses have recalled the situation as such:
Barney: “Baba, I am not one with your decision. I totally reject it and I leave this place a deeply unhappy person.”
Erlo: ” Barney, hear me out. More than 30 years ago I prayed to God for revival and He sent His Holy Spirit into our midst. I prayed this revival down.”
Barney: “That does not concern the issue under discussion. Your decision has nothing to do with the coming of the revival. I thank God for the Gospel. If we were still living in our old ways, in the ways of the Old Testament, I would have come here with my assegai and would plunge it right through the body of Thofozi. But because we live in the time of grace, I want us to ban her completely out of our midst.”
Immediately Ma Nsibande reacted: “Barney, how can you speak to our father like this.”
Barney was obviously very upset now. “Baba is playing with us as if we are children. Our childlike state is long gone.”
Now Arno Stegen spoke: “Today is the first time I have heard anything of Thofozi’s sin and it is very bad. But worse still is the manner that Barney can address our leader”
(This is an old KSB trick to attack any dissident with small technicalities in order to discredit them and thus silence them.)
Kjell Olsen, the so-called spokesman to the press, proceeded to take the floor and also tried to lambaste Barney. All the deceitful tricksters were in full swing. One by one they tried to lambaste Barney into submission, not listening to his relevant statements. Their only concern was to complete the cover-up and to silence all dissident voices; they were not interested in finding out the truth behind the ‘kidnapping’. Obvious criminal acts, grave bodily hurt to innocent people, deceit and cover-ups were of no concern to them; only submission to the “man of God”
Barney spoke again: “I am sorry that I spoke in such a way and that I became so furious. Perhaps I am like the devil in your midst. As Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified, Peter tried to stop Him. Then Jesus rebuked him with the words that he was of the devil. But Peter did not understand the deeds of Jesus and he loved Jesus dearly and he wanted to protect Him. I am speaking as one loving this work and deeply concerned about its wellbeing.”
The deceived supporters of Erlo Stegen proceeded in renewed effort to cohort Barney into their deception. Michael Ngubane spoke: “Brethren. We have a meeting for all the co-workers coming up tomorrow. How can we have a general meeting for all the co-workers if we, the leaders, cannot come to an agreement on this issue?”
Erlo said: ” I know Barney for many years now and I know he is a man that stands for absolute truth. I think he was deceived into believing that his version of the “hearsay” was the truth. Barney is only fighting for what he believes is true.”
Fano Sibisi: “Baba, I am so happy that you are humble in your dealing with this situation. You have spoken the truth about Barney for I also know him as a truthful man.” He then addressed Barney saying: “Brother, you must now also apologize that you went against the decision of our father”
Barney: “I apologize for my anger and for the way I spoke to Baba. I do not apologize for my decision to go against the verdict of Baba. I stand by it until God shows me differently. If necessary, I’ll humble myself before all the co-workers, even before the whole congregation in the auditorium at KSB. I will gladly go on my knees before you all.”
Thulani Sabela said: “Baba, I pray that in the future you will never regret the verdict that you made today”.
At this stage Erlo lost his temper and scolded Thulani: “You are responsible for this whole mess. You went to Tugela Ferry and influenced Barney in this evil way. If it was not for your action, we would not be sitting here with this problematic situation.” Thulani broke out in tears and left the room. Barney stood up and followed him trying to comfort him by saying: “Thulani, you spoke the truth and now you are criticized for it. Now you are crying because of the truth. But I will not cry, I am leaving now.”
The meeting ended in this way.
Friday, 9 June 2000
Barney Mabaso called all the workers of the Tugela Ferry congregation together. He, together with the 3 other men, told them in detail about the unhappy meeting they had the previous evening at KSB. He also told them about various accusations made in the media about KSB. He wanted nothing of it. He wanted to know the truth and to preach it from the pulpit.
Wednesday, 14 June 2000
Arno Stegen, Alpheus Mladlose, Fano Sibisi, Sipho Mbeje and Thulani Sabela arrived unexpectedly at Tugela Ferry wanting to see Barney. In the presence of various workers of the Tugela Ferry congregation, they stated that their only purpose was to convince Barney to work with them. Repeatedly they stated that Erlo Stegen had been swept of his feet by this deception and that they all should work together to help him. They, representing the co-workers at KSB, were unable to help Erlo on their own and they needed help from the other congregations, especially from Barney. Seemingly they had a meeting with Erlo the previous day and he was truly sorry for his acts, deeds and decisions and he had apologized to them all. They stated that Erlo was very broken and meek and prepared to work together in order that unity could be restored. He was seemingly also sorry for not reporting back to them after they complained to him about the deceit of Thofozi right in the beginning. He did take actions but he failed to notify them about it.
Barney told them that he was worried because this was no irrelevant matter. A senior co-worker was part of a criminal act involving the grievous bodily harm of another co-worker. And now Erlo Stegen and the leadership at KSB were trying to cover it up; making it out to be irrelevant.
“Brothers” he asked, “Where have I sinned in my handling of this situation. Please speak your minds so that I can repent and make restitution.”
The perplexity of this whole situation was now only made more confusing as all the co-workers from KSB agreed that he; Barney, had made absolutely no mistake and that the whole problem was with Erlo Stegen. For this reason they came to Tugela Ferry for they realize that Erlo needed serious help immediately and they needed the assistance of Barney. Erlo was aware of them coming to Tugela Ferry; in fact he had encouraged them to do so.
On hearing this, Barney was very touched and said: “Erlo is my spiritual father. There is no need for him to come to me, I’ll go to him.”
Thursday, 15 June 2000
Barney together with 3 other persons went to see Erlo. They had a meeting with Erlo. Fano Sibisi, Alpheus Mladlose and Thulani Sabela were all present. Erlo opened the meeting in a prayer and then started crying. According to the memory of some of those present he then said:
“Please forgive me for I am an unfaithful servant. I have spoken harsh words to my brethren and I have treated them badly.”
The whole issue about the deceiver, Thofozi, was not mentioned at all.
Barney spoke: “Baba, we came because we only wanted to bring about good. We want to sort out this one problem and not speak about other issues.”
Erlo Stegen: “I promise you, I was very diligent in handling this ‘kidnapping’ right from the very first time it came to my attention. Ma Nsibande helped me in it.”
Barney: “Baba, I would have understood that if it was not for other information. That is not the impression I got from Ma Nsibande when I came to see her on the 3rd April. That was the first time I spoke to her about this matter and her words to me was that she was so happy that I had spoken about this matter for she had a major problem with this situation.”
Erlo Stegen: ” Let us call Ma Nsibande to come here and tell us what she said on that day.” When she arrived at the meeting Barney asked her: “Mama Nsibande, Baba claims that he was diligently busy with this ‘kidnapping’ business right from the very beginning and that you were helping him in this matter. Is that so?”
Ma Nsibande: “When this issue became known, I was not here for I was busy with an evangelistic campaign. I knew nothing of it.”
Barney: “But Mama, I spoke to you on April 3rd and you acknowledged that you knew about the matter. Sipho and Thulani told you even before I spoke to you.”
She acknowledged that they did speak to her and that she was aware of the problem.
Barney proceeded: “This matter came to light in the beginning of March. Now Baba claims that you and him have been busy sorting out this problem from that time on. I only spoke to you in the beginning of April.”
Ma Nsibande: “I was not at KSB then. I was busy with a campaign.”
Immediately it was clear that there was a discrepancy between Stegen and Nsibande. Erlo Stegen just kept quiet.
Barney: “I feel that Jannie le Roux and Justice Cele should be given an opportunity to speak as well seeing they were involved with this whole ‘kidnapping’ from the very beginning. We must call them and ask them to tell us the truth. Erlo Stegen was immediately on his hind feet trying to prevent the suggestion from being accepted. He did not want Jannie to address them “for he is no co-worker” and this matter concerned a senior co-worker. The group from Tugela Ferry could not understand Stegen’s logic at all. They persisted in their request to hear what Jannie had to say.
Quite humbled Stegen managed to bring another problem to their attention: “I am afraid that Jannie will share unnecessary details with us and only complicate the matter more.” Barney just persisted in his request, and eventually Stegen yielded.
It was agreed upon that Sunday evening, the 18th June, Jannie and Justice would be given an opportunity to speak. Another general meeting of all the co-workers would then be held on Monday the 19th.
Saturday, 17 June 2000:
Barney was truly sick and tired of this of this complicated saga of confusion. He had had enough of Erlo Stegen’s deceit in trying to cover-up the evil deeds of Thofozi. His efforts to find the truth had led him to endless, hours long meetings. Deceit had born fruit and now the deceivers were being deceived into a tangle of perplexity. His trust in Erlo Stegen and the leadership at KSB was shattered to the core. Close friends of Barney testified later that he lay in bed as if deadly sick. He could only pray in hopeless desperation.
Sometime during that afternoon it was as if he heard a voice saying: “It is enough” He spoke later of this experience saying: “For weeks my tears ran like water and my body felt weak and tired. When I heard this ‘voice’ my tears dried up immediately. I was filled with new strength. At that moment I knew that I would not return to KSB. I was wasting my time. He decided to separate himself from Erlo Stegen and all those who associated with him”.
Barney phoned Alpheus Mladlose at KSB and told him: “Alpheus. I am not coming to back to KSB for this meeting. I am separating myself from KSB. Please inform the other co-workers of my decision. You must proceed with this matter on your own.”
Sunday, 18 June
Barney announced his decision to separate himself from the work at KSB, from the pulpit at Tugela Ferry. He asked the congregation to pray about the matter and to make their own decisions in this regard. He asked them to go to KSB and to make any inquiries into the whole ‘kidnapping’ saga. He bid them return to him with their own decisions by Wednesday the 21st of June.
Wednesday, 21 June:
The congregation gathered for a general meeting to decide on the following:
1: Would they still like to be associated with KSB?
2: Would they still like Barney Mabaso to be their leader?
It was unanimously decided to separate from KSB and to keep Barney as leader.
Monday, 26 June:
Albu van Eeden, Peet Botha and other co-workers arrived from KSB to inquire why they had left the KSB fold. Barney and others told them the whole unhappy story.
Wednesday, 28 June:
During the morning, about 200 people arrived at Tugela Ferry. People accompanied Erlo Stegen coming from Cape Town, Johannesburg and many other places. The majority of these people was not co-workers and had nothing to do with the issue. A public meeting was quickly arranged with about 300 people attending. This meeting was five hours long. A video recording was made of most of it.
Barney was asked to give account of why he, together with his congregation, had left the fold at KSB. During all this time, Erlo Stegen spoke nothing of the criminal acts of his most trusted co-worker and how he tried to cover this iniquity with more lies and deceit.
Barney gave a full account of the whole story. He also asked one of the workers at the Tugela Ferry congregation to read a letter that Erlo Stegen had sent to Europe warning the KSB leadership in Europe about Barney. All manners of lies and half-truths were mixed up in an evil concoction to discredit Barney.
Many people got the opportunity to speak, including Jannie le Roux. On two occasions he was interrupted by Jeffrey Sikali, (a co-worker of Erlo Stegen) asking him not to go too much into detail. Luckily the majority of those present in the meeting persisted that Jannie should be allowed to speak his heart. This is something that should have been done months before.
Amongst other things he said: ” I have been carefully watching Thofozi for the last 5 years and I witnessed many evil deeds. All of these things I have reported to Erlo Stegen….. I was contacted by a certain woman asking me to arrange the kidnapping of Thofozi. When I contacted Thofozi about it, she asked me to proceed with the matter. Together with this woman, I traveled to Durban and we made the arrangements for the ‘kidnapping’…. I told nobody about our association with this kidnapping for I counted it as small fry in comparison to the things that Thofozi had done before. I am not prepared to speak about these things for it is too shameful to mention in such a meeting. But he leadership of KSB knew of all these things as I faithfully reported it to them.”
1: The leadership of KSB has failed their God-given civil responsibility to work together with the forces of law and order to see that justice be done in this situation. A senior co-worker planned an obvious criminal deed and had it executed by dubious characters from the netherworld. Thobekile Mhlongo was seriously injured in this ‘kidnapping’. The leaders knew about this but failed to take responsible action.
2: Erlo Stegen failed to notify the leaders in Europe and South Africa about Thofozi’s criminal action. He kept it hidden until 21st June 2000
3: In his letter to the leadership in Europe (21st June 2000), he furiously incriminates Barney Mabaso and some of his co-workers. On the whole ‘kidnapping’ issue he had only the following to say: “A short while ago Thofozi, Lydia Dube acknowledged that she had failed to speak the whole truth on her kidnapping which occurred more than two years ago. She had a part in this kidnapping and forsook to bring it to light. She was now prepared to speak the truth about the matter.”
This was all that Stegen had to say about the situation that raged for months, resulting in the actions taken by Barney and other co-workers.
4: Erlo Stegen, this famous revival preacher, asked the leadership in Europe not to delve further into the matter. He suggested that they just accept the fact that Barney Mabaso and his congregation had left the fold of KSB and that they should not try to find out what the truth was behind these happenings. His closing statement was: “If any man has any more questions about this matter, I am fully prepared to answer them. Paul wrote about Demas saying that he had forsaken him. He did not delve into the matter. I do not believe it is necessary to go to Demas to inquire of him about his version of the situation. This I write to you as a bond slave of Christ. Committed to Christ. Erlo Stegen”