“The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious‚ and Linguistic Communities labelled the Seven Angels Ministry as extremist in its report published last year.
The church advocated for people not to work and for children not to go to school as “Satan” was said to have taken over the schools.
The church came into the spotlight at the weekend after police killed seven suspects and arrested 10 other people at the church premises in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape on Friday night.
Among those killed were Mancoba brothers Xolisa‚ Thandazile and Philile.
The raid followed an attack at Ngcobo police station on Wednesday morning where five police were killed and firearms stolen.
In its report in June last year‚ the commission said the church explained its role as being of divine intervention on earthly matters and that it comprised of seven representatives.
“They refused to take the prescribed oath‚ reluctantly opted for a solemn affirmation‚ but refused to repeat the words of the solemn affirmation after the swearing-in‚” the commission said in its report on the commercialisation of religion and abuse of people’s belief systems.
The report did not specifically name the church.
The commission said in fielding the opening questions‚ the leader of the church stated that the summons to appear before the commission was not relevant to them.
Their leader said to the commission: “Our mission is to return the world to Jehovah‚ God.”
The leader said the church had not registered anything in this world and did not have bank statements.
“The seven of us here are angels from the heavens. We came from Jehovah. On our way we created for ourselves a father. Here on earth he was the founder of the Angel Ministry.” The leader said in heaven “we created a father and a mother”.
He said on his way “we gave our father instructions to declare and pronounce the name of God on earth”.
“We informed him that we would come through him on earth in the form of flesh … some were born‚ but these seven were given birth through the flesh.”
In his testimony‚ the leader said: “Lucifer came to this world and breathed on the South African Constitution and schools … he took schools for himself … took the constitution for himself”.
“Here we are saying that education is wrong … because Satan has taken over the schools.”
The leader said he was not a pastor. “I am an angel from heaven. I sit at the right hand of the father … we say children should not go to school as the devil has infiltrated schools and we say people should not listen to the constitution because Satan drives it; that is why we say people must stop working.”
The Daily Dispatch reported two years ago that the church garnered widespread media attention when social workers and police removed 18 children‚ following reports that they were being prevented from attending school.
It was also reported that older members were forbidden from working.
The Daily Dispatch said since 2015‚ the premises had been the headquarters of Angels Ministry‚ which was run‚ following the death of their father‚ by seven brothers – Xolisa‚ Thandazile‚ Banele‚ Philile‚ Phuthumile‚ Benjamin and Ephraim.”