NEWS: The Revival Ministries church of Chatsworth, south of Durban who faces legal action by various South African religious bodies, now speaks out. Attorney Sivan Samuel, representing the church’s Reverend Llewellyn Joseph and evangelist Simeon Bradley Chetty, believes his clients have done nothing wrong. But the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha and the South African Hindu Maha Sabha are looking at confronting the matter through various legal interventions.
Non-profit religious organisation, the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha filed cases of crimen injuria against the two Durban pastors, Simeon Bradley Chetty and Llewelyn Joseph. Both men are accused of disparaging anti-Hindu remarks which were published on social media. While the SA Hindu Maha Sabha president, Ashwin Trikamjee, is currently working on various interventions with other church leaders.
Have done nothing wrong, says Church
Speaking to Newsbreak Lotus, attorney Sivan Samuel who is representing evangelist, Simeon Bradley Chetty and Reverend Llewellyn Joseph has iterated that his clients have not breached any law by their utterances. Samuel explains that in the case of Simeon Bradley Chetty, his client, did not record the video of his testimony but the video in question was published by Bradley on his official social media page on Facebook.
Samuel believes that Hindu organisations should reconsider their legal action as his clients were alleged ‘setup and manipulated.’
Samuel also explains that the second video, shared by Dr Allen Joseph on his Facebook page on February 3rd, denies that his client published the video. The video shared on February 3rd, 2020, the father-son duo is seen blessing worshippers and in the first few seconds of the video clip, the Reverend Llewellyn Joseph is heard referring to gods of Hindusim as ‘curses and spirits’ that promote fear and envelope homes especially during the religious festival worship of Thaipoosam kavady.
In a previous video, evangelist Simeon Bradley Chetty of the same church, Revival Ministries, had uttered anti-Hindu slurs against followers of Hinduism. That incident led to widespread condemnation from South Africa’s Hindu community leading and religious leaders who are leading a charge against Chetty and the church of Dr Allen Joseph.
Peddling a false narrative about Hinduism
Ram Maharaj, the president of the Hindu Dharma Sabha, says the men must face the consequences for their inappropriate actions. The Sabha describes the attack by the two men as a ‘vicious attack’ who is ‘peddling a false narrative about Hinduism.’ In a press statement released on Friday, 26 June 2020 by the South African Hindu Dharma Sabha has aligned with the South African Hindu Youth Movement who have lodged the official complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Film and Publication Board and social media platform, Facebook.
Speaking to the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, Ashwin Trikamjee has stated that the national Hindu body is currently working with ‘other responsible church leaders to look at reforms’ following the anti-Hindu utterances by Revival Ministries reverend and the evangelist.
South African Hindu Youth Movement along with the Hindu Dharma Sabha have lodged an official complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Film and Publication Board and social media platform, Facebook.
While the Hindu Association of South Africa (HINDASA) is demanding damages to the value of R1 000 000 (One Million Rands) be payable to the “Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation” (OATF) or a Hindu “Religious Public Benefit Organisation” of the Hindu organisation’s choice, for the promotion of non-racialism, tolerance, reconciliation and social-economic upliftment in South Africa.
Source inputs: SABC NEWS