Peet Botha’s book: a brief response

by Kobus du Preez

Peet Botha recently left Kwa Sizabantu (KSB) and published a book about his time there.

This is a brief response to Peet’s book, as found on his blog a week ago. Brief, because I want to limit my response to one basic point today.

First of all, I would like to salute Peet Botha. Here is a man who says what he has to say, and does so in his own name, in spite of the typical intimidation attempts.

How might things have been today, if more people over the years had done as Peet is doing?

Over the years. That brings me to my point.

Let’s use Peet’s term: “demise”.

The demise Peet observes has been coming a long way. A way that goes further back than 2015 or 1998. I saw it before Peet knew about KSB, and it was because I did not keep quiet that I got into trouble.

Let me illustrate. The “reverend Erlo Stegen”, who was such an inspiration to Peet during the late 1980s and the early 1990s, is the same man who, during those same years, persistently refused to meet me in front of unbiased witnesses regarding his role in the break-up of my marriage with Anneli. And it is not as if I wasn’t trying.

What was there to “revere” about his spreading lies about me behind my back, while refusing to face me?

Two plus two equals four. It serves no purpose to try get it to equal three or five. It doesn’t.

Now take what I’ve said so far for two, and here is the other two: the demise goes even further back than my time.

Erwin Redinger was a co-worker at Maphumulo during the late 1960s. He and others experienced the same treatment at the hands of Erlo Stegen as I did, for the same reasons.

The breaking up of marriages also goes further back than my time. Read Erwin Redinger’s account of Erlo Stegen’s interference in the marriages of Mama Ntsibande and Mama Dube, for example.

The demise has more aspects to it. But I do not want to make this too long. Consider the millions, as a final example.

Erwin Redinger: “Right from the beginning KSB were unwilling to give account to anyone, just as they are still unwilling. When Erwin Freese suggested that the members be informed where the monies were going […] they said it had nothing to do with the members what the leadership does with the funds. When others voiced their misgivings about the secrecy of the financial dealings, Erlo said publicly that people should rather not give to him if they did not trust him. Clever! Isn’t it? So much for their openness.”

And as for my time: I personally had to transport a curious parcel to Erlo Stegen when I returned from Europe in 1983. I was not told what it contained, which made me all the more aware of its two lesser dimensions.

Others could tell more revealing stories. There have been more prominent witnesses. But because we talk about Peet’s book and because I am writing this, let’s just say that as Peet Botha thought he had to do with a man of God after I left, so I thought I had to do with a man of God after Erwin Redinger left. Yet all three of us, and many others over the years, have ended up seeing things differently, because our primary loyalty is with God as He reveals Himself in His Word.

“Let your speech be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: and whatsoever is more than these is of the evil [one].”

The term “demise” denotes the end of something that was previously considered to be powerful. In the context of Peet’s book it implies that there was a true revival to begin with.

I knew Koch and have seen the book by Van Rooy. I do not wish to comment at this time. Albert Pilon is very critical of the Maphumulo revival of 1966, says Peet.

Indeed. But you see, Albert did a thorough job of soberly analysing the sources of this revival story. A very necessary job if one is to avoid falling prey to the endless loop of “… I have revival and therefore I am a man of God and therefore you MUST believe me when I say I have revival and therefore I am a man of God and …”

When I first had the opportunity to meet Erwin Redinger, a former KSB co-worker tried to dissuade me.

Sowing doubt about others behind their back is KSB culture. Christian culture is: “Wherefore, putting away the lying, speak truth each with his neighbour, because we are members one of another.”

I spoke to Erwin Redinger extensively at two occasions a few years apart. I believe him.

Two plus two equals four. Face the fact. We are looking at half a century’s worth of “demise”. There never was a true revival to begin with.

“Mission Kwasizabantu has moved progressively towards being a cult instead of being an evangelical missionary entity proclaiming the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ only.”

A self-proclaimed mission, yes. And it depends what you see as evangelical, I suppose. But the point I’m making is that the “has moved progressively” idea has no leg to stand on. We have rather each in his own time and circumstances moved progressively towards seeing KSB for what it has always been.

The pure Gospel of Jesus Christ only?

I take it something did happen in Maphumulo end 1966. But what do we read in Matthew 7:22-23? And how are we ever to know what exactly happened there, if the speech of those who tell the story is not Yea, yea; Nay, nay?

What we are in a position to know exactly is that “whatsoever is more is of the evil one”. That one who speaks from his own whenever he speaks a lie, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Someone once said: “When you lie, make it a big lie, otherwise people will not believe your story.” Yes, and why not then as big as a true revival?

It is my considered opinion that the spirit who spoke through Mama Dube in trance was NOT God’s Spirit. Hence the 50-year trail of ruined lives. Read John 10:10 and become wise.

The KSB confession system comes not from a careful study of Scripture but from the spirit that spoke through Mama Dube in trance. It led not to a true revival but to a perversion of the Gospel of Christ.

And that has been Erlo Stegen’s gospel ever since Maphumulo. In the terms of Jesus’ reference to Numbers 21:9 (John 3:14), he tells you to fight the snakes, not to look at the brazen serpent. In Peet’s terms, “the atoning death of Christ for our sin, is made subsequent to confessing the sin to the counselor”. In my terms: Erlo Stegen puts the cart before the horse and that is why the cart is going nowhere. See Galations 1 and 2.

Am I now judging? No. I am putting before you the truth of Matthew 7:15, and I wish you well.

Kobus du Preez
10 April 2019