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DUTCH REFORMED CHURCH: Mochudi branch

Dutch Reformed Church fires members

The Dutch reformed Church in Botswana has fired with immediate effect, 50 of its members at the Bokaa branch for insubordination.

A letter titled ‘Bokaa issue:peace and reconciliation exercise’ which was leaked to The Voice, bodly states that the members should with immediate effect cease their fellowship with the church.

The strong worded letter signed by Robert M Seleke and one Mmapitso T Monosi reads; “We wish to inform you that the Makaleng Circuit Executive Committee has taken a decision to excommunicate you, the resigned church council members, your representatives and congregation in terms of the constitution. This means that your fellowship with the church has ceased with immediate effect.”

The letter continues; “You should stop immediately from identifying yourselves with the Dutch Reformed Church in Botswana. You should stop any developments and or activities in the name of the church as well as using the DRCB Bokaa church premises.”

According to an insider, while there has always been problems at the church, things took a nasty turn when the fired members decided to start worshiping from 0800 to 1030 which is against the stipulated time of 1030 to 1200.

“They were told to rescind their decision to worship at that time but they continued and this infuriated the leadership as they viewed it as insubordination,” said the source who wished to remain anonymous.

The source continued “What worries me is that of the lot that was worshiping at the illegal 0800 service only 50 of them have been expelled from church. The general thinking is that the church leadership is using the divide and rule tactic,” said the source.

One of the ‘fired’ members, Obert Ramphaleng said trouble began two years ago when they complained about the collapse of the church council.

“They refused to listen to us and insisted that the congregation run with a church council that doesn’t form a quorum,” said Ramphaleng.

Asked about the letters of expulsion from church he said: “We have told them that we are not going back to that toxic and inflammable 10 AM service. We are worshiping in peace at the 0800 AM service and we still expect to be given autonomy,” he said.

Efforts to reach the Church leadership were futile at time of going to press as they could not be drawn to comment on the matter.

This is not the first time for the DRCB to be on the news for wrong reasons.

A few years ago, congregants at the Mochudi branch clashed as some were opposed to the ordination of the first female priest, Reverend Mmonie Kgosiemang.