Woman allegedly assaulted at ELCRN Synod ‘illegal delegate’

03 Sep 2019 20:30pm
REHOBOTH, 03 SEP (NAMPA) – The Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) said the group of people, among them a women alleged to have been assaulted during the 28th Ordinary Synod held in Mariental, were not part of the synod delegates.
A press release issued by Acting Chairperson of the High Synod, Jack Manale said the ELCRN regretted attempts to disrupt proceedings of the 28th Ordinary Synod held from 25 to 28 August “that tarnished the reputation and good name of ELCRN and tainted the integrity of the synod”.
Mensia Ngunovandu was allegedly assaulted by an angry mob last Sunday in Mariental by the alleged group of people in support of outgoing Deputy Bishop Paul Hatani Kisting, after which she reported an assault case at the police station in Mariental.
A senior church member of the ELCRN Ephesians Congregation in Windhoek, Ida-Lize !Owoses who was present at the synod and also the chairperson of the parish where Ngunovandu is a member, said the woman was not assigned as a delegate of Ephesians congregation to the synod.
“I can say that she was not a delegate of the Ephesians Parish, but only came as an ordinary member of our parish,” she indicated.
A witness speaking on condition of anonymity said there was a commotion outside but no one was assaulted and added that some people had no right to be there as they were not delegates to the synod and “only wanted to cause trouble”, after which the police were called to remove them.
“The parishes they claim to represent had their delegates registered and ready to be part of the synod,” she said.
Wilfred !Naibab, leader of a faction called ‘ELCRN transformers’ who opposed the candidature of Kisting, and of which Ngunovandu was a part, was also present at the synod illegally. !Naibab took the ELCRN to the High Court to have Kisting removed from the candidate list and was ex-communicated from ELCRN on 17 July for disregarding the constitution of the church.
A letter seen by this agency indicated that he was charged with instigating members of the church to boycott the legitimate bishop’s nomination and election processes.
The letter said in light of all the charges against !Naibab, the Church Council believed the offences were treacherous against the ELCRN and caused division and irreparable damage to the unity of the ELCRN, and henceforth withdrew his membership.
Manale in the statement said ELCRN rebuffed the allegations, distanced itself from the allegations and said it is a serious attempt to discredit Kisting and further to paint an unbecoming picture of the highest decision making body of the ELCRN.
“Therefore, we put the record straight with regards to some of the unpleasant happenings outside the synod, when uninvited groups caused commotions which tainted the integrity of the synod,” he said.
Hardap Region crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Eric Clay Tuesday confirmed that a case was opened and that no arrests have been made yet.
“I still don’t have information on how far the case is, but will find out from the investigating officer,” he said.
Attempts to get hold of Ngunovandu proved futile as her mobile phone was not reachable.