Open letter to Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi (2)

Dear Prince Buthelezi

I am very pleased with your answer, but I need to correct a few things that your staff have researched incorrectly.

1 Why are you so careful to conceal the fact that you were a leader of KwaSizabantu for several years? It seems that you were so taken with KwaSizabantu that after (as you claim) laughing with Reverend Stegen about Black people’s small brains and bad hair, you personally opened a branch of KwaSizabantu in Germany. If you witnessed such moral dubiousness in the Mission, why did you eagerly become a part of it?

Dear Prince Buthelezi, first of all: I don’t laugh at such stupid remarks as those made by Mr. Stegen, they were too disgusting and inhuman.

But I have to tell you: your staff did poor research.

Because I was not a “leader” at KSB. The eager KSB leaders only let me attend some meetings and sessions in Europe (and sometimes in South Africa), perhaps because I seemed to be important to them and they believed that they could use me at some point – like a politician speaking for them.  I was twice present at a founding meeting of the then Christians for Truth organisation and was struck negatively by the remark that a group calling itself “… for truth” is already on the road to lying. But I was not a “leader”, nor did I open, found or even run any branch of KwaSizabantu in Europe.

Incidentally, you can only have received such information in the last few days, since Sunday 4 October. Until then you did not know me. And where did you get the information from? Of course – you can only have received it from KwaSizabantu, nobody else in the world. In the midst of the hurricane over KwaSizabantu, which is tearing down the foundations of trust of this shady mission, you confidently take over their information. KwaSizabantu mistakenly assumed that I was part of it – but I read from your letter that you are part of KwaSizabantu!

 

  1. this refutes your whole argument that you know KwaSizabantu better than I do, because you had uncovered its true nature within “two days”, while I had apparently been lied to by thousands of congressmen over forty years without realising it.

Perhaps I do know KwaSizabantu better than you because I am a better observer. I was even present at some of their sessions and meetings, which became increasingly strange, always showing clear signs of a dictatorship. So much so that at some point I got angry looks in a large circle when I recommended to pay very close attention to whether there were not already structures of a sect. It was fascinating in a certain way: you are sitting in the middle of a group that reminds you of the blindness, radicalism and self-improvement of the Nazis! As a journalist you stay there until you have put all your pieces together. And when I had them, I  pressed the button in Germany to see what happens: I called KwaSizabantu what it is in front of everyone: a dictatorship. And then I saw how headless, how stupid and unchristian they were, using exactly the same strategy as now: intimidate the opponents, curse them, talk badly about them, dismiss every attack as a lie, and so on. And then I started to write.

 

  1. As you yourself told the Reformatorisch Dagblad in 2001, “No one will find out the truth in the few weeks he visits the post… It takes years to really understand the system.”

But then you change your argument. Having first agreed that I never had cause to question the biblical teachings, motive or ministry at KwaSizabantu — because supposedly the wool was pulled over my eyes — you then claim that I knew all along of alleged abuse at the Mission.

Of course, it takes a long time to understand the KwaSizabantu system properly. But it helps if you want to understand it. I had my first doubts very quickly, after three days. You, Prince Buthelezi, seem to have none until today. And I wrote to you:” No, dear Prince Butheletzi, you have not looked away – you have not looked! Isn’t that why you have a share of the blame for all this misery?” Sir, in my eyes you are partly to blame!  After the accusations that became public in 2000, you have done nothing to change the situation in KwaSizabantu. With your prominence and influence, you could have done it. You did not do it!

  1. Your evidence, which contradicts itself, is my own words in 2001, quoted in The Natal Witness, where I said I am “not aware of virginity testing or beatings going on at the mission… I have never been informed of those kind of things going on.”

 

Dear Prince Buthelezi, my evidence is not contradictory, you just omit the most important thing, let me quote Natal Witness again: “But he said both are part of the Zulu tradition“. Sir, that is an apologetic remark which makes it clear that in the days of 2000 you did not want to take note of the drama on KwaSizabantu which everyone had to see through the publication of the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa. It seems that you did not care, otherwise you would have acted.

  1. Let me make myself clear. If anyone had come to me with allegations of abuse, I would have urged them to go to the Police. I cannot understand why you, as a leader of KwaSizabantu, did not open a case so that the things you believed to be wrong could be investigated. Why is it only now that you make allegations from a distance?

Prince Buthelezi, it would have been nice if you had recommended people to go to the police when they told you about KwaSizabantu’s misdeeds. But there are victims who have tried to do just that and have had to acknowledge that the police in the area were obviously in cahoots with KwaSizabantu and have done nothing to clear up the matter. You know the problem well, you used to be a member of the government!

 

  1. Yet no one making allegations against KwaSizabantu has gone to the police. For the sake of revealing the truth, KwaSizabantu itself has launched official investigations by laying a charge of criminal defamation.

To me that shows their openness to being questioned.

In the year 2000, KwaSizabantu did not even want to talk to prominent church representatives, i.e. brothers in faith, about the same accusations that are being made today. Everybody had hoped that among siblings the authoritarian, cruel, hidden system of brutal exercise of power, violence and of manipulation could be brought to their senses through conversation. For Christians should not argue with each other in court. But KwaSizabantu brings criminal charges against people who accuse them. I think every viewer of the scenery should now realize, even after the lousy performance of KwaSizabantu in front of the CRL commission, that nothing applies to this mission but themselves. It shows neither humility nor respect for the (possible) victims nor for an honorable state commission and the public. Even you, whom I have always perceived as an honorable and extremely reasonable politician, will not be able to describe the behavior of KwaSizabantu, neither as a Christian nor as a citizen of your country, as a model of openness.

I greet you with the verse Ephesians 5, 10-12

Examine what is pleasing to the Lord, 11 and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; rather uncover them. 12 For what is done by them in secret, even to speak of it, is shameful. 13 But all these things will be made manifest when they are uncovered by the light.

Yours sincerely

Jens Nissen