About their stay and connection with Kwasizabantu Mission at Kranskop in KwaZulu Natal
(Any part of these writings please may be published. We have nothing to fear from KSB).
We arrived at KSB in late 1976. Not long after arriving their I accompanied Erlo Stegen and a team to a World Wide Missionary conference at Halfway House near Pretoria (Presently called Tswane) Beryl and the children stayed at KSB. New Year 1977 occurred during this conference. Erlo was a speaker and was hailed as coming from “the midst of a great revival” in Zululand. We stayed at KSB until the end of June 1977 when I, together with our whole family, was shown the door.
God has been our provision in the years since we left this work, which notwithstanding the support of many seemingly mainline churches and Para-church organizations, we have come to see this movement for what it actually is. It is a cult that has strayed away from real Biblical norms. When we first came upon this group they were called Bible House which was the name given to it by Anton Engelbrecht who was the leader who ran it in a similar way it is today from the then headquarters in Claridge near Pietermaritzburg. He was deposed when his adultery with a female member was exposed. In those days Bible House still had the main monthly communion service and baptismal services at Claridge, where everybody available from KSB would attend. Those who did not have their own transport were transported by a large bus that belonged to Friedel Stegen. (He had the white school children bus contract from Mapumulo to Stanger (now Kwa Dakuza) on school days. The story that the KSB work only started after the beginning at of the so called revival at Mapumulo is not true. This work had been going for many years from Claridge. I know this for sure because I had a young niece Bernadette Thomas, who had been a worker there. She was “told to go” by Anton Engelbrecht. The old hypocrite had accuses her of looking at a boy in a lustful way. How he was able to do this I do not know. Bernadette who was a fine, modest and upright Christian girl, denied she was guilty of any untoward behavior at all.
Notwithstanding this event, we believed Erlo when he told us that the ways of Bible House under Anton Engelbrecht were a thing of the past. We believed him and later discovered, at great cost, that we were totally misled.
Beryl, who has been my wife of now nearly 44 years, and with our relationship getting stronger and happier each day, and I have prayerfully discussed KSB at length. We want to make it very clear that anything that we may write is not done in any form of bitterness or a desire for revenge against Erlo Stegen and his cohort of fellow leaders and so called co-workers at KSB or connected with their work.
We have since leaving this place KSB, come to know the reality of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He said in Scripture (Matthew 11: 28 -30),”Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (29) Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (30) For My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.(NKJV) We have, since leaving KSB, also come into the reality of the real Gospel of pure grace as preached by the Apostle Paul. (Ephesians 2: 8 -10) “For by grace you are saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (10) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (NKJV)
For some years after I we left KSB, I was angry at what I felt was the unjust and unfair treatment that was meted out by Erlo, Friedl and the rest of KSB. One night while praying I felt the Lord tell me in my spirit, quietly and gently, “If you were not thrown out in this manner you might still be there, instead thank me for the circumstances and situations that have brought you to the victory and freedom that you and your loved one’s now have in me (Christ Jesus). Go and read the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis again.” I read this story again. It has always been one of my favorites. Joseph has always to me, been one of my heroes of the faith. The word came alive or as the old English say, ‘quickened’. Genesis 45 set me free to be who I am in Jesus Christ. I know these days, that I am an eternal child of the Most High God in Christ. I have since preached this glorious gospel that we are to preach. Not just as a sort of celestial fire insurance but as the gateway to new and eternal life as born-again children of God.
When our crisis time at KSB arrived, we were immediately shunned and avoided by all. This also applied to our three children as well. A short time later, Erlo tackled me outside after an evening meeting. He told me that it was decided that we (the whole family) had to leave as soon as possible. We had brought disgrace to KSB through our actions. When I asked why he had “changed his tune” as he had been the one who had urged me to “discipline” my unruly wife, he flew into a rage, denying his former advice to me. I replied that he appeared to be lying to me and he only got worse. “Who was I” he said, to question the action of KSB which was a revival, and dare to cast this slur of mine on his actions. I was obviously no good. “Go as soon as you can” were his last words to me.
While I was typing the above story of our banishment from KSB I thought about many that have suffered a similar fate to ours at the hands of the KSB “management”
Parents who had to go because they would not break faith with their God given children, who had maybe temporarily strayed from the rigid KSB legalism and “fence laws” of family’s like ours ,who had young and even very small children. And singles who did not perhaps have a strong Christian family or tradition to go back into. I know of “unities of disunity” that were formed. Often by people who had been forced out for completely different reasons from each other. Sometimes, because of the lack of real New Covenant gospel of grace knowledge, these unions were mutually equally destructive.
Fortunately Beryl knew that our redeemer lived” and had a foundation of what and who we were in Jesus Christ. We had great difficulty in integrating into wider evangelical Christian society. Most we found believed the KSB “spin” like we had and thought that we had to have had something seriously wrong with us to be banished as we were. God, however, has been total in His unfailing love and acceptance of us. Today we are able to counsel, from the Scriptures those who have come out from the snare some or other cult like KSB.
The parable of the wheat and the tares also came to mind. Matthew 13:2-30. Jesus Christ speaking,” And another parable He put forth to them, saying ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; (25) but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. (26) But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared.(27) So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? (28) He said to them, ‘an enemy has done this. The servants said to him, ‘do you want us then to go and gather them up? (29) But he said, ‘ No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.’ (30) ‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, first gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into the barn” It is more than obvious to me that KSB does not practice the principles as laid down by the Lord Jesus Christ in this parable. Whole families and individuals as well have been summarily expelled and banished from KSB Some who have returned to KSB for matters such as the funerals of loved Family and friends who stayed on and passed away, have talked of being bombarded by so-called co-workers and others with taunts such as “You’re going to hell, you’ re going to hell.”
KSB does not and never will have exclusive keys to eternal life by believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. Regarding my disgusting and wrong behavior of beating my wife, I would like to place on record here that, it was never my practice until we arrived at KSB and placed ourselves under the spiritual oversight of Erlo Stegen and his fellow workers. To this day I am ashamed of my outrageous and bullying behavior. For a man to beat his wife is wrong. Nothing that she may do can justify this behavior, particularly as far a Christian is concerned. I have never, ever beaten my wife since then.
We left KSB with a few boxes and things. They did not even fill up a quarter of the back of the truck that they had been loaded onto. I had nearly no money. We had no food and as I up to then, had a small monthly account at Friedel’s shop in Mapumulo, we bought a box of basic provisions on my account there. This account was settled in full by me 2 months later. Friedl Stegen had in the meantime, sent me a demand to “settle in full immediately.” I managed, because of my financial background, and good name in financial circles, to get a short term contract for a limited period with a finance group in Durban. We had no support structure in KZN as we were Western Cape people.
I saw a ‘To Let’ sign in a tiny beach front flat in Umdloti, north of Durban. After prayer, we approached the owners who were not believers. Because I had good references from the bank that I had left, they allowed us to move in without the usual security deposit.
Basic furniture I bought “on the book” without deposit from a furniture company in Durban. Once again the usual deposit rules were bent for us because of my previous good name. We paid this off as soon as we could, as the Lord provided for us.
Our three children at the time have all been, of their own volition, involved with their spouses, in Christian mission work. Their marriages, to this day, are all loving and stable relationships. For the record, Beryl and I went on to have two more children, twin sons. Matthew and David are fine young Christians, now aged 21 years. They are both leaders in youth work, play musical instruments, only for the glory of the Lord, and both are not into casual dating. They both testify that they can wait until God gives them the right life partner in marriage. Our older children lived this way prior to marriage and are with the youngest two, living proof to us that children do not have to live with the strictures imposed by KSB and similar places.
People who know who they are, as children of God, are able to live as who they are. “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). It’s not us, but Him in us that makes all the difference.
I wrote to KSB a few times before I came into peace about leaving the way we did. My letters were never answered or acknowledged by them. About four years after we left KSB a friend of ours and his wife, from Cape Town, came on a visit to KSB. When he referred to us in lengthy discussions that he had with Erlo and Friedl Stegen, he was told that they had no recollection of our ever being there.
In 1995, (18 years after we had left) we were in KZN on holiday for a few weeks. I phoned KSB and spoke to Kay Stegen. I was told that Erlo was in a meeting and not able to take my call. Kay, however, seemed to be friendly. I said that I wanted to visit and talk to Erlo.
The following day was a Sunday and she invited us to have lunch with them as well as me speaking to Erlo. When we arrived the next day the morning service had just started in the big auditorium. Trevor Dahl was the speaker and the choir sang as well. When it was over and the crowd had mainly moved out of the auditorium, Kay approached us. After greeting us all in a gracious manner, she told me that Erlo had been told by the Lord to go to some obscure place in the north of KZN, during the night, and he was therefore, not available to speak to me. While we waited to be ushered in for lunch outside the Erlo Stegen home, we were approached by Arno Stegen (now known as Reverend).Arno I remembered as an extremely arrogant young man during our stay at KSB. He then had the duty to ferry all the children to Mapumulo each school day. There they would alight on the Government contracted school bus that took them to Stanger and then returned them to Mapumulo after classes were finished. Why this young man stood out in my memory was that he would sometimes drive off, leaving my children in sight, on the way to the main building from the Stegen house where we stayed. Our children missed school those days. Arno was very interested in our fortunes and those of our children, since we had left KSB. We gladly told him that our eldest daughter Lisl and her husband Theo van den Hoven (The child of purely Dutch parents who had, as Catholics, immigrated to SA), were currently workers with YWAM, and who regularly went on outreaches to Botswana and Zambia. Brandon our eldest son was a marine engineer with OM and Mercy Ships, (and who was later Chief Engineer on the Mercy Ship’s flagship then.MV.Anastasis).I told him that after we had left KSB we visited the OM ship MV Logos.in Durban Harbour Whilst on board we were invited by a crew member to share supper on board. This person was a marine engineer and invited Brandon, then aged 8 years to a tour of the engine room and machinery places. Some years later Brandon came to me and told me that he felt that God was calling him to serve on a missionary ship as an engineer. Suitable and well qualified engineers were always in short supply. We prayed about this and talked much. Brandon went on to become a marine engineer and a fully qualified “Super Chief”. To do this he had to serve on various merchant navy ships in the most ungodly of circumstances. Before he passed his final exams for Chief Engineer he had to leave his young wife Leanne and three small daughters living in a rough and very poor working class neighborhood, three hours traveling away from Southampton, for six months. He passed second in a class of 12 hand picked students in the British Marine Engineering College. This college is considered to be among the very best in the world. Our second daughter Lauren and her husband Ian Coleman are in the leadership team in a local church here in KZN. Before this they were Christian workers in Zimbabwe. They only left that troubled country when forced to do so by the security thugs working for the tyrant Robert Mugabe.
Why I have taken the trouble to tell of the happenings in the life of our children, is not to boast, but to show that children do not have to grow up in a “hothouse” environment of over strict rules and “fence laws.” We have applied the Scriptural injunction of Proverbs 22: 6 (” Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it),and similar teachings and found that they do work out in practice. This teaching and disciplining should be done by both Father and Mother and not delegated to others or a Church as happens at KSB. Children are our solemn God given responsibility.
We also took the step of deciding, that Beryl was to remain a Home Mother to our children.although I was not led to re enter the world of Banking and would, as a result have to possibly earn much less than I had done prior to resigning from my former Banking position. God has honored our stand in this matter and has provided amply for all of our needs in the years that have followed. He still provides amply for our needs. When a special need does arise, we pray and it is usually provided for shortly. If it is not forthcoming that is taken by us to be proof enough that we were praying for a want and not a need. We are so happy to live this way. We do not beg or hint to others for our needs. It is wonderful to know, with absolute certainty that we are NOW the children of God. Now, not tomorrow or when we die, but now we live in eternity. Praise God!
At my present age of 69 years, I have been retired for nearly four years Beryl and I are “full time workers” once again. We live in a double storey cottage in the Valley of 1000 Hills, overlooking the giant Inanda Dam which is on the Umgeni River. Matthew and David share this home with us.
Finally regarding our visit to KSB, on the way back to where we were holidaying at the time, Beryl both had a good laugh at what Arno Stegen had twice said to us. “If you look at your children” he said,” you can’t be so bad after all!” We laughed because we wondered what had been said about us at KSB.
To get back to our lunch at KSB, we were not shown into the main dining room, which did not appear to be over full that day, but were led into Kay Stegen’s private family kitchen. We were seated at the long benched ‘breakfast nook.’ We were not allowed to mix with any others that day!
After Kay alone had shared lunch with us, she took us on a quick tour in a bakkie (LDV) of the various activities of the mission farm. When we left, I left her with a contact telephone number, with a request for Erlo to phone me at, as soon as possible. He never did telephone that number. I am still awaiting his call.
In the Scriptures Jesus Christ calls Himself “Truth” (John 14:6) Surely those who’re His true followers, should not be found to be strangers to truth and those who appear to practice, what the world calls “situation ethics!” ?
It is our opinion that KSB “buries its wounded” and is only interested in their “public face.” Those that fall by the way side are not helped back to strength and wholeness (Galatians 6:1 clearly says; “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, consider yourself, lest you also be tempted.”)
At KSB they that fall are shunned, abandoned and told “to go” and even have their very former existence at KSB denied. The Scriptures say that by their fruit you will know them. (Matthew 7: 15 – 18,”Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (16) You will know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? (17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit).
KSB is, as far as we are concerned, a “slick spin operation,” that preaches today a gospel different to that which the Apostle Paul urged Christians to preach.(Galatians 1: 6-10 “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,(7) which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.(8) But if we or an angel from heaven, preach any gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. (9) As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. (10) For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, would I be a bondservant of Christ?”) Much of the “Theology and modus operandi” at KSB is based on the revelations of the now disgraced Lydia (Thofosi) Dube, her sister Lindiwe Dube, their mother Hilda (Thembani) Dube and Josfina Ntsibande. The revelations of Thofosi during her alleged death experience do not tie-up with the Biblical gospel of grace as revealed to the Apostle Paul. In view of the fact that Thofosi has been exposed publicly as a liar and evil doer, her so called experiences can only be described at best as a” near death experience” if they are not the product of her imagination. While I was at KSB, Erlo Stegen and his leadership appeared to get most, if not all of their direction from Hilda Dube and other Zulu women. In reading explanations given, for reported excesses and wrongs done at and by KSB, and as explained by their spoke’s people such as (Rev.) Tjal Olsen (who is personally well known to me), one wonders if any of those leaders and workers of this so called continuous revival are still in touch with actual truth.
It is my opinion that many have simply been deceived, and now follow what the Apostle Paul describes as “another gospel.”
I would gladly talk to or correspond with any who would like to hear our truth about what really goes on from day to day at this so-called centre of revival.
Sincerely, In Jesus Christ, Neville Laing.
My Story of KSB by Beryl Laing.
I am the wife of Neville Laing, with whom you have been in correspondence concerning our experiences at Kwa Siza Bantu. I did not want to talk about the terrible time that we spent there and only started putting things into perspective after reading about the experiences of a young lady called Erika Joubert, who wrote of her time there, as published in a local women’s magazine in April, 2000.
My husband, three children and I left KSB on the end of June 1977. We were both born-again Christians. When we were married 11 years before, we were then committed Christians involved in youth work. My husband had been an extremely successful bank manager but our marriage had been under much strain as he had become very worldly and backslidden along with his success in business. In order to save our marriage, my husband had resigned his position and we were seeking a way to serve the Lord full-time. We had heard that there was an on-going revival at KSB which is why we had gone there from the Western Cape where we had lived up to then. Erlo Stegen received us very cordially and gave us his own bedroom to use, causing his then pregnant wife, Kay, to have to sleep on the floor in the lounge. (We did not know this at the time) When we did find out her about her condition, we were very impressed with her self-sacrificial attitude. Erlo asked my husband to stay on at KSB as a co-worker, an offer which we were very flattered to accept.
All went well for a time. We attended services every night. I found it difficult to leave my children all alone, in a strange place, the youngest being only two years old. The older two had to leave for school at six o’clock every morning and did not return home until after four in the afternoon. Slowly but surely I found that my husband’s authority in our family was being undermined. We were encouraged to “tell” on one another. I found it difficult to confess my sins to a man other than my husband and, of course, this was held against me. There were things which made me very uneasy, and when I told my husband about them, he was told to report me to Erlo, who told him that the only way to get me right was to beat me. He was not up to then a wife beater.
I became very depressed and unhappy. I felt that our family unity was being totally and deliberately undermined. My eight years old son was beaten with a cane by Erlo Stegen for some minor mis demeanor, without the permission of his father.
Eventually, after I had again expressed strong misgivings about the mission, my husband did indeed beat me. This is something about which he still to this day expresses deep sorrow and regret. The next day early, I actually ran away from the mission, spending the day in the bush, praying and calling upon God to have mercy on us and remove us from this terrible place. When I returned late that night, it was to find the place in an uproar. The whole of KSB had been out all day looking for and searching for me. We were then totally out of favor. In these circumstances, my husband and I put our arms around our little children and vowed to be a united family against all that sought to divide us. My husband took his rightful place at the head of his family, although we only had one room, Because of that, nothing could touch us again and it was not long before my husband left.