Unlawful church ordered to cease operations in Yeoville

The South Gauteng High Court on 17 May has ordered Pastor Elijah Tenkwee to cease conducting unlawful church services from a residential building in Yeoville.

This after authorities were alerted by residents of the building in November last year that the pastor, also known as Selvan Crole Marcelle, was using the residential building as a place of worship.

On inspection of the building by Mayor Herman Mashaba in March, the church was deemed as operating ‘in contravention of the city bylaws relating to building and land use’.

According to the African News Agency, Mashaba stated that ‘additions and alterations had been made to the dwelling without approval from the city. Furthermore, the operations of the church often resulted in loud music being played into the early hours of the morning – disturbing the peace of residents in the area.’

Mashaba said if the pastor failed to comply with the court order within 30 days, it would result in the Sheriff of the Court enforcing the order.

The mayor added that the City was not against the use of buildings for religious practices, but these should be performed in accordance with Johannesburg’s land laws.

“While the City believes in promoting and protecting the religious practices of all our residents, such cannot come at the expense of the rule of the law within the city.”

Mashaba believed that this court ruling was a victory for the community and he aimed to increase police visibility in Johannesburg to enforce the rules of the City, as a part of his R31-million allocation.

Read: City wants to clamp down on illegal churches

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Staff Reporter

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