Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has spoken tough against Gender-Based Violence and femicide in South Africa, even warning his church members against discouraging or harassing those who come out to raise allegations against him.
The ECG leader faces a serious attack last week when two unidentified women, with covered faces, went on national televisions accusing him of allegedly raping them.
The Prophet of God firmly denied the accusations, saying rape is an abominable crime that goes against everything believes in, adding that there is an extortion syndicate behind the move.
However, in a fresh statement released on Tuesday morning, Prophet Bushiri said he fully comprehend and most notably understand the gravity and depth of Gender Based Violence (GBV) and femicide in this country.
“I have watched how the headlines have been filled with women who get killed by men, raped by men, tortured and abused by men,” he said.
He added that he is aware of how the church and its leaders in general cannot be exonerated from the violation of women and children.
“It is for this reason that our church adopted a GBV policy a while back and of fundamental importance embedded and entrenched in the policy is to encourage victims to speak out.
“I have since and as contained in the aforesaid policy, disciplinary procedures and code of ethics put in place firm consequences against pastors and our church leaders that are accused and are found guilty of violating women and children,” he said.
Prophet Bushiri has also urged his church members and supports to refrain from issuing remarks and statements on social media that are against people who support alleged rape victims.
He said that he doesn’t want his name to be used or associated with anyone who insults, discourages or acts in a manner that speaks against anyone supporting the alleged victims.
“Further, I would also like to request our peaceful and justice-loving church members and supporters not to discourage or harass those who come out to raise allegations against me. I understand the pains of women and how they live in fear from being violated every day. Those who follow my teachings will surely attest to this,” he said.
On way forward, Prophet Bushiri said that as a law-abiding citizen, he respects the law and law enforcement agencies.
“Notwithstanding the above, particularly extortion attempts against me, the law must take its course and he will cooperate fully with law enforcement agencies to ensure justice is served,” he said.
He also added that it is his strongest belief that it is our duty, as men, to stand together and protect our women and girls.
“They are our wives, sisters, mothers, aunt, cousins and children. Let’s safeguard and protect their well-being. I reiterate: let’s stop violence against women and children,” he said.