South African Anglican Bishop Accused of Assaulting Priest
July 3, 2012 Leave a comment
The problems at St Alban’s Anglican Cathedral are far from having been resolved.
This time Bishop Johannes Seoka is accused of assaulting a priest-in-training in the middle of the night after accusing him of leaking confidential church documents.
Seoka allegedly assaulted Albert Wright on Friday at the church in central Pretoria.
Police spokeswoman Sergeant Anne Poortman confirmed that a case of common assault had been opened at Pretoria Central police station.
The bishop, who is also chairman of the South African Council of Churches, has been at loggerheads with church members for some time.
In May, the church members took Seoka to court after he had suspended church activities.
The court ordered that the cathedral be opened immediately; there be mediation within 30 days; that no party disrupt church activities; and that the bishop, any archdeacon and priest nominated by the bishop, as well as Reverend Rudi Paulse, had the right to officiate at the cathedral without interference, threats and/or disruptions.
As a result of the feuds, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s office decided to form a task team as canon 21.3 of the church’s constitution states that the Synod of Bishops can form a task team when there are “reasons which indicate to it that in its opinion the affairs of the diocese merit an inquiry or investigation in relation to possible support”.
The task team will report its findings to the Synod of Bishops for a final decision.
It is claimed Seoka used R500,000 of the diocese’s funds to pay for his mortgage bond.
He is also accused of misappropriating R162,000 to fund his legal representation against a church dean.