Fake churches exposed: The deception of ZCC by Lekganyane

moria zcc
Know anyone belonging to the following Churches please print or e-mail to them. This may save a lot of people out there who honestly think they are saved and worship God when in actual fact they are worshiping men or deceived by false prophets & worship satan.

Please note....this is very long, so take your time and read, maybe you might help someone. Part 2 will follow soon
Matthew 24:24 “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive,…
The Truth Behind ZCC
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

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If you are a member of ZCC, remove your ZCC badge and ZCC Cap before you read this testimony, we pray for the Lord’s protection upon the readers and hearers of this testimony in Jesus Name. ZCC is a well known church in South Africa. They say ZCC stands for ‘Zion Christian Church’ whereas the truth is not so. One of three leaders of this church is a man known by ‘Barnabas Lekganyane’ or should I say ‘False prophet Lekganyane’ he has millions of members here in SA. It is said the founder was a man by the name Engenas Lekganyane who is now dead and had had two sons who are still alive who are the current leaders, one of them being Barnabas Lekganyane whom we will concentrate on mainly here.

The real meaning of the acronym ZCC is actually in Chinese which means ‘I Satan, Collect & destroy’ .This secret was revealed by Pastor Mbatha aka ‘The Man of Secrets’, Pastor Mbhatha stayed in the sea for two years and seven months in preparation to be a sangoma, he later got saved after he failed to kill a true Christian, he realized the power of God after having killed thousands of lukewarms and non believers by witchcraft. The story of Pastor Mbhatha might be a bit sad, his whereabouts are not known by many people after he got deliverance and having revealed many secrets about the powers of darkness.

Pastor Mbhatha was a Sangoma or a hardcore witch prior to being a Christian and a Pastor who revealed many stunning secrets, some think that the devil managed to get him back to the sea and some believe he died and went to heaven. He was an Evangelist who preached too much on the subject of holiness and always revealing the secrets of the powers of darkness or the movement of evil spirits in our midst, he revealed secrets behind Sangomas and some churches which I won’t mention by name for now except for ZCC. Pastor Mbhatha preached too much on the subject of holiness and the End Times towards the years of 2000. I had a couple of his tapes, he always preached against the churches which he used to interact with during the times when he was still a wizard.

Pastor Mbhatha actually mentioned that when he used to live in the sea, he used to interact with a mermaid, Satan and Lekganyane. In his preachings he would shout out the name of lekganyane that people would know that lekganyane is a friend of Satan. He would scream out “ZCCs are not going to heaven!” Some Christians did not like his harsh preachings about holiness, they thought his statutes were difficult. It might have been so, but I liked and believed the secrets which he revealed to awaken the sleeping body of Christ, he knew almost everything about demons.

He knew where they would send the demons to accomplish some tasks so at the time he got saved, he was never watching TV, he said TV was banned in his house because he knew how demons were interactive on the media, he knew how interactive demons were at parties so he also used to advise Christians not to go to parties. He also severely discouraged bad women attire because he knew where the ideas came from.

He never allowed unholy people to enter his yard whether part of the family or not because of Psalm 1:1 he said the Lord would speak to him in dreams and visions and shared some of them with us. I know many people thought many things about him, but I grasped what was important for me to grasp, ‘the secrets’ which were even matching to Emmanuel Enni’s testimony and some Ex Satanists testimonies including Pastor Linda’s testimony. Pastor Mbhatha actually mentioned the name “Queen of the Coast” that he used to interact with, and you will remember that Emmanuel Enni also did interact with the Queen of The Coast in the sea.

Now back to ZCC. There are some Ex Satanists testimonies where they also proclaim to have seen lekganyane in the meetings that are held in the sea by Satan and his followers. In one of the tapes that I had, was a youth girl who testified about attending satanists’ meeting in the sea where they would see Satan himself. The interviewer asked her how Satan looked like and she said they could not see Satan’s face, he was wearing a long black cloth from shoulder to feet and his face was also covered with a black veil, but she said they would see lekganyane’s face as an executive member there.
I am Not doing this article to condemn, but to help the doomed brothers and sisters who are followers of Lekganyane and ‘thinking’ that they will make it to heaven.

This church has millions of members all over South Africa. At the time when I thought of exposing ZCC and the Universal Church, another brother in Christ just came to give me a certain Ex ZCC Member’s mp3 testimony and said I should burn him a copy, and I thought it was God’s confirmation that I should go ahead and help the doomed souls in ZCC. This was during Jan 2010. God doesn’t want any single being to spend eternity in the lake of fire which was created for the devil and his angels.
We are still dealing with ZCC here, we are coming to the Universal Church, Yes, and I said it.

This Universal church is gaining fame every Sunday morning; it is televised to attract people to a false breakthrough. A breakthrough where the pastor takes all your money and you remain poor!? Hmm… Universal Church is a money making racket. When I visited the church one day, I was given some holy water to wash my face and given ribbons to put on my hands. God knows what those things ever meant and you dare not question where in the bible they take such practices from. Then they tell you to wait for the service where the pastor will cut those ribbons. Those are covenants with the underworld. Some rituals in church huh? I am going to expose that Brazilian Bishop in my next article. See, South Africans are very gullible when it comes to religion that's because they love instant things yet the word of God tell us to wait upon the Lord. That's why all these "bring back your lover in 48 hours" nonsense things thrive here. The only difference is that in churches they use the name of Jesus to srt out this magic.

You see there is nothing for free from Satan. True breakthrough only comes from God; True love only comes from God.
Back to ZCC. Unlike the Universal church, ZCC does not use the name of Jesus, rather it is substituted by the name of ‘Lekganyane’, in ZCC they use the very same bible that we use, lekganyane is deceiving ZCCs by the same bible that we use, how sad is that?

However, I believe only a few ZCCs realize the truth from reading the bibles very well by themselves, like this brother’s mp3 testimony where he managed to see that ZCCs are actually missing true salvation when they get baptized. He said he noticed that the bible says that when we get baptized we must be baptized by the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38), but in ZCC baptism, neither of these names are used, rather three names are used which refer back to Lekganyane.

This brother who is an Ex ZCC member did not mention his name on the mp3 testimony, but I think I will manage upload his full testimony on the site. Another thing that is misleading in ZCC is the fact that they consult so called ‘ancestors’, aren’t they dead?

They consult Sangomas, don’t Sangomas belong to the devil?
Let us join our hands and help these doomed brothers and sisters.

I tried to translate that mp3 testimony to text, so here below is the testimony of that brother in direct speech.
Here’s what you will notice from this testimony: Lekganyane is a false god, a friend of Satan, this brother was a prophet of lekganyane, he said lekganyane does not speak to just anyone, but speaks to only some of his chosen (his prophets), he speaks to them in dreams, visions and some depart their physical bodies and talk to him in the eternal realm, this brother was one of them.
This brother’s testimony will save many doomed souls, we pray that the Lord convict the hearts of the doomed souls as they read or hear of this testimony.

This brother also believes that it was what God had created him for, to help the doomed ZCCs, let us join our hands and spread this testimony all over. This brother joined ZCC because of his parents. The members of ZCC usually wear a badge on their chest, a ZCC badge; there is also a cap which is worn by the Men of ZCC. The is a shop where you get ZCC everything, mugs, salt, photos and etc. The ZCC salt contains tiny spice like red particles and as a ZCC member; you are not allowed to ask what those red small particles are.

There is a ‘ZCC tea bag’ with lekganyane’s photo on the box of the tea and the ZCC coffee, no one knows where these products are made, and you will notice in the testimony what they actually are and where they come from. This brother also mentioned something which is stunning, true and sad, Lekganyane plays with the minds of the Men of ZCC, truly speaking, I once had this thought in my mind, I actually thought ‘You know, sometimes, it is easy to tell if someone is a ZCC member’ you will find out in the testimony about this sad thing which the devil is doing. The badge which is worn by ZCC members have got a black and a green cloth underneath the silver star which is on top of the badge.

This brother said that the black cloth represents ‘death’, Lekganyane can kill any of his members at anytime, the members of ZCC have indirectly given that power to Lekganyane because they are baptized under the name ‘Lekganyane’
The green cloth represents the world, which means that the people of ZCC are people of the world and not born again, that is why fornication is not a sin according to ZCC.

Now even if there was nothing supernaturally evil about ZCC, the mere fact that fornication is not a sin can take a soul to Hell. That is Not Godly. The physical buildings of the church of ZCC have no roof all over the branches every where in SA.
The wall is just as high as the waist. When they sing, they get to a point where they jump very high up like it is a competition of who can jump to highest.

Some people say that the reason have they don’t have a roofing at their worship places is that it might happen that as they jump very high, someone can just be caught up by the holy spirit straight to heaven and never come back. That’s a sad deceit because It won’t happen.

Like it is said, Not everyone in the church of ZCC knows the deep secret of this church. So Not every member can believe or testify of the things which are in this article, but ask the how they pray, they will tell you that they really don’t use the name of Jesus, rather they mention ‘Lekganyane’ in their prayers.

Even some of the leaders are doomed, they know absolutely nothing about these supernatural things that we testify of here in this article, that’s because the devil is a deceiver, and his aim is to drag all souls to Hell.
And based on my understanding, Lekganyane might Not even know the truth about Hell and the Lake of fire, remember Lekganyane is also a human being, A dude who might have sold his soul to Satan and given powers by him.
Yes Lekganyane is seeing Satan face to face in the sea, but the devil is a great deceiver.

Check this out in your logic, No one would want to burn in the lake of fire forever, so what the devil does is to deceive his closest people and tell them that he will win the Armageddon war and have a kingdom of his own which he will share with them, which is actually Not true. He might be masquerading as that good looking person in the sea with many powers and many souls to him more than to Christ on earth, but in Hell, he knows exactly that he is that huge ugly looking monster who tortures the dead unsaved souls.

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  • Who Was Engenas Lekganyane?

    Here we have a very detailed, and very well researched article by Barry Morton; it reveals about the life of Engenas Lekganyane, founder of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) - which is the largest church in South Africa, though sadly it's not Christian as its name suggests; rather, a church full of idolatry, ancestor worship and witchcraft. Barry very kindly asked me to publish this on the site.

    Barry Morton
    Research Fellow, UNISA
    January 2014

    Who Was Engenas Lekganyane?

    Although he is perhaps the most important figure in southern African religious history, we know very little about Engenas Lekganyane—the founder of the Zion Christian Church (ZCC). He personally left very few records before his death in 1948. Meanwhile, the members of the ZCC did not write down any of his sermons or teachings, and nor did any of them leave written reminiscences about him. Government officials did not consider him worth monitoring, and there are no in-depth government documents about the ZCC until 1959. In short, there is very little information about Lekganyane other than the institutionalized memory of the ZCC.

    Much of Lekganyane’s life is shrouded in legend, falsehoods, and misconceptions. And because the ZCC has systematically kept researchers away from its churches and properties, solid information has been hard to obtain. I believe that this paper lays out, for the first time, exactly where Lekganyane came from.

    I. Legkanyane's Early Life

    The ZCC Version

    Engenas Lekganyane always maintained he was born in Thabakgone in the Limpopo Province, and that his family were members of the Mamabolo. His parents were Barnabas Metseleng Lekganyane and Sefora Raphela (about whom nothing is ever mentioned), and the only relative of his who is ever discussed is his maternal grandfather Marobothata Raphela—usually called “a famous witchdoctor.”[1] He is said to have been born between 1880 and 1885, eventually attending “Matlhantlhe School” in the Mamabolo location, where he completed three years of primary school.[2] According to his legend he was first converted to Christianity as a teenager, and was baptized into “the free Church of Scotland.”[3] Later on, after finishing school, he moved to the Rand and was converted to Zionism.

    A Version Based on Historical Sources

    Engenas Lekganyane’s biography consciously leaves out one very major detail—that he was from a family of mission station Christians. Lekganyane was born on a mission station to a family of Christian converts, and one of his close relatives was responsible for introducing Christianity to his society.

    Lekganyane’s family were apparently of “Swazi” descent, and his forbears joined the small Mamabolo chieftaincy during the upheavals of the Difaqane. [4] Documentation on the Mamabolo and on the Lekganyanes begins in 1879, following the conversion to Christianity of Lekganyane’s uncle, Kamilo (“Kameel”) Raphela, in Port Elizabeth while he was engaged in migrant labor there.[5] At this time, Raphela came to the attention of Carl Knothe, a Berlin Missionary Society missionary, who was seeking to start a new mission station in the aftermath of the British annexation of Pediland in 1877. Although Mankoeng initially opposed the Christians among the Mamabolo, he eventually allowed Knothe to found a mission station at Mphome, adjacent to his own settlement, in 1880. The Transvaal government allotted the Berlin Mission a farm in the area next to the Mamabolo settlement.[6] Mphome was to grow quickly as a mission station in the 1880s under Knothe’s direction, and its school soon began a program to train African evangelists.

    Mphome, located in Haenertsberg, was where Engenas Lekganyane was born (not Thabakgone), and where most of his relatives became Christians. In the early 1880s Kamilo Raphela was the most prominent African evangelist at Mphome, where he also received formal training from Knothe. The numbers of Mamabolo Christians grew fairly swiftly, and they appear to have been converted chiefly through African evangelists such as Raphela. In 1886 there were a mere forty-two converts at Mphome, but by the late 1880s the mission school had almost two hundred children, some three hundred communicants, and one hundred and fifty catechumens. These numbers grew rapidly through the early 1890s. Baptisms were performed by the hundreds, with some 1350 recorded by 1896 when environmental and political catastrophes began to affect daily life.[7] Based on available statistics roughly a quarter of the Mamabolo were baptized, with about a fifth of them residing close to the mission.

    Lekganyane’s mother, Sefora Raphela, was the niece of Kamilo Raphela, although her father apparently remained a staunchly pagan “witchdoctor”. Her Christian name, along with her marriage to Barnabas Lekganyane, suggests strongly that she was a convert to Lutheranism. The Lekganyanes are not mentioned in the Lutheran records as being prominent members of the Christian community. However, Barnabas and his four siblings all had Christian names, clearly indicating that their conversion to Lutheranism. Further research, though, is needed to determine their involvement in church affairs.[8]

    Engenas’s birthday is commonly ascribed to 1880-85, although 1885-90 is likely to be more accurate. Whatever the birthdate, it is entirely reasonable to believe that he was baptized as a Lutheran as a child by his parents. He did not attend the Lutheran primary school, though, probably because he was too young to have done so before the troubles of the mid-1890s. The name Engenas, or Ignatius, was a very uncommon one. It is possible that Engenas took his name from one Engenas Mavokela, a Lutheran convert at the Ga-Matlala Mission Station (where Kamilo Raphela was based for a while before moving to the Mphome mission in 1879).[9]

    By 1896 the Mamabolo chieftaincy was predominantly a Lutheran community. All the evidence suggests that Engenas Lekganyane was born to a Lutheran family living on or adjacent to a Lutheran mission station. His birthplace was at Mphome in the Haenertsburg area, not at Thabakgone where the Mamabolo would eventually move to after a difficult decade

    Years of Upheaval and Movement

    Although the Mamabolo were not truly uprooted until 1896, the pressures of Boer rule began to impose themselves during the 1880s (even as the Mphome mission prospered). The discovery of gold in the Haenertsberg led to a mini gold rush and the influx of white settlers for the first time in 1888-9.[10] Although the Mamabolo lived away from gold prospecting sites it was soon made clear that their land holdings were to be reduced. In 1890 government officials had beaconed off a large portion of the Mphome area, leaving both the Berlin Mission and the Mamabolo with smaller land holdings as a result. By 1892 the ZAR government the government included the alienated land as a part of the “Houtboschberg Delverijen”—land made available to gold prospectors and miners—while not paying any restitution to the Lutherans or the Mamabolo.[11] In response the Mamabolo attempted to augment their lands by purchasing farms from European landowners, but were unsuccessful. As a result, large numbers of Mamabolo began moving onto European farms for the first time.[12]

    During the mid-1890s land shortages reared their heads as drought struck. Harvests were poor, and according the some testimony during 1895-6 some 500 Mamabolo (roughly 9% of the population) died of starvation. [13] By this time Knothe had died, and the Mphome mission became increasingly fragile. Rinderpest followed in 1896-7, and in 1897 the Mamabolo’s neighbors, the Makgobas, revolted, leading to bloody conflict. The Mphome mission was moved at this time to another farm slightly further away, although many Mamabolo continued to live at the original location. Uncovering what happened to the mission converts and members of the Mamabolo at this time is very hard to do, although it is clear that many moved away from the Mphome area. Some made arrangements with absentee farm owners and moved onto White farms, while others went to “locations” in the Pietersburg area. Others moved to mountainous areas in the Haenertsburg area. It is impossible to determine what the Mamabolo chief and his family was doing at this time, let alone members of lesser families such as the Lekganyanes.

    During these difficult times the Mamabolo were betrayed on two occasions by Europeans that they depended on. The first betrayal came from Fr Herbst, the missionary to the Mamabolo after 1896. Soon after his arrival, Herbst had sided with government officials who wanted to drastically reduce the size of the “location” allotted to the Mamabolo at Mphome. This new reduction was viewed with disgust by the Mamabolo, particularly since they had been allotted a much larger territory by visiting officials in 1890. Herbst seems to have agreed with the reduction since it increased the size of the Mphome mission land owned by the Lutherans.[14] Rather than being sympathetic to the starving and land-poor Mamabolo, Herbst and the BMS instead sought cash compensation for the land they had “lost” to Mamabolo location![15] Although the ZAR government eventually did not reduce the size of the location, leaving it at its original size of 4,200 morgen, nevertheless Herbst’s actions caused the Mamabolo leadership to disassociate itself with the BMS. It declared a separation “that was vital and permanent.”[16] Even though land was short and starvation was severe, very few Mamabolo were willing to live with Herbst on his sparsely-settled new mission at Doornfontein.[17] Even after the war, when the BMS allowed them to utilize all the land on Mphome station so that no de facto reduction of landholdings occurred, the Mamabolo would not rejoin the Lutheran camp.[18]

    So although Lekganyane was born a Lutheran, his society rejected Lutheranism on political grounds when he was young. Nevertheless, the Lekganyanes and all their relatives remained Christians, and would eventually join the Anglican Church as we shall see.

    A second betrayal afflicted the Mamabolo in the aftermath of the split with Herbst. At some point after 1897 the Mamabolo Chief made an arrangement with the Israelsohn Bros to move his people onto two large farms they owned near Pietersburg in exchange for providing labor.[19] There are grounds for believing that Engenas’s parents were part of the group that moved onto these two farms.[20] Once the war was over, the Israelsohns reneged on the agreement and claimed the Mamabolo were “squatting”. They managed to get the government to not only expel the Mamabolo from the two farms, but to seize all their livestock as a penalty for the “damages” that had been caused. In order to get their livestock back, the Mamabolo chief hired a lawyer and eventually won their case after having it heard in the Transvaal Supreme Court.[21] Despite the legal victory, many of the Mamabolo were uprooted yet again. The chief ended up using their lawyer to purchase several farms for large amounts of money, including two named Spitzkop and Cyferkuil (where Lekganyane and his family lived).[22]

    The experiences of the young Lekganyane, then, included disruption, poverty, and betrayal. Based on the limited information available, these early experiences go some way to explain many things about Lekganyane—his desire to obtain privately-owned land on which to build his Zion; his desire for segregation from Europeans and his general paranoia about dealing with them; and his lifelong reliance on lawyers in his dealings with authorities.

    Our first glimpse of Lekganyane personally comes from 1905-9, when he finally attended school as a teenager. An enterprising, young, Socialist Anglican minister from the Community of the Resurrection[23] named Latimer Fuller ventured from the Rand to Pietersburg in order to found his society’s first rural mission to Africans. After hearing that the Mamabolo had ejected the Lutherans, Fuller met them and advised them to return to Lutheranism. When the Mamabolo refused, threatening to join an Ethiopian church instead, Fuller convinced them to allow him to build an Anglican mission among them. The subsequent St. Andrew Mission was built on a farm adjacent to Spitzkop and Cyferkuil. The young Engenas Lekganyane was resident at Cyferkuil, and ended up attending school at St. Andrews and completing his three years of schooling there. During this time, large numbers of the Mamabolo converted to Anglicanism. Baptismal records show that his future wife, his sister, and many of his aunts, uncles, and other relatives on both maternal and paternal sides were active in the Anglican church.[24]

    Fuller spent 1905-8 at St. Andrews—a waterless farm that his order purchased with a £300 donation. Using communal labor supplied by the students, he was able to build a church and school in 1905, and a dam in 1906. By the end of the first year a hundred children (including Lekganyane) were attending the school, and in 1906 a dormitory was added. Within a year of purchasing the farm Fuller was thus able to develop a viable mission. Although somewhat distant from the Mamabolo location, several hundred Mamabolo (mainly from Spitzkop and Cyferkuil) attended services each week, and Chief Sethomola supported the enterprise. The young Lekganyane, who later claimed to have attended “Matlhantlhe” School, was thus part of a successful startup school at St Andrews. His schooling consisted of a heavy dose of construction work—building the missionary’s house, a church, the schoolhouse, and a dormitory out of brick, as well as helping build a successful dam. He completed three years of education at St. Andrews, apparently concluding following Fuller’s departure in late 1908. Although Lekganyane is said to have been highly interested in religious instruction while at St. Andrews, it is interesting that he never converted to Anglicanism.[25] He was almost certainly present at the consecration of the school and mission in late 1905, when the Bishop of the Transvaal presided over the ceremony. Could this visit have been so impressionable on him that he later styled himself the “Bishop” of the ZCC?

    To sum up, during the first two decades of his life, Lekganyane was born into a stable mission society, a situation that deteriorated during his childhood as his people suffered from starvation and the ravages of war. Two times, betrayals by trusted Europeans led to land restrictions, forced migration, and a permanent move from Lutheranism.

    II. Lekganyane's Baptism and Move to Zionism

    The Official ZCC Version
    After his schooling at “Matlhantlhe” was over, Lekganyane soon developed a severe eye disease that rendered him nearly blind. He then had visions telling him to go to the Rand, where he would be miraculously cured once he was baptized through “triple immersion.” Sometime around 1913 he went to Boksburg where he was baptized and cured by two Zionist brothers, the Mahlangus. Lekganyane then became a preacher in the church founded by the Mahlangus, the Zion Apostolic Church (ZAC), before becoming the deputy leader, and later leader, of the ZAC congregation in his hometown Mamabolo location.

    A Version Based on Historical Sources

    The Official ZCC version appears to be substantially correct in certain respects in that it foregrounds his relationship with the Mahlangu brothers. On the other hand, his story about falling blind and being cured from triple immersion is highly formulaic and is almost certainly invented.

    Two other credible versions of Lekganyane’s conversion to Zionism have been put forward, neither one of which is convincing. One is that he was converted by E.P. Le Roux, who was the leader of the Zionist/Pentecostal Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) from 1913-43.[26] As equally credible version of events is a missionary’s assertion that Lekganyane converted to Zionism at Serare, not too far east of Cyferkuil, where he encountered an African Zionist who had broken away from the Swiss Mission.[27] The truth is probably far more mundane. Between 1909 and 1912 a number of Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) evangelizing attempts were made in the northern Transvaal, and these trips introduced Zionist concepts such as faith healing, prophecy, and triple immersion to the area. The reports about some of these trips are highly dubious in nature, but indicate that Zionist preaching attracted a lot of attention from potential African converts. During 1910 Jesus was reported to have appeared during visions to a girl in Louis Trichardt, while another woman “saw Jesus on a cloud, and He told her that He was ready to come back, but that she must tell other natives, for they were not ready for His Coming. He wanted to save them all, but they would not come to him.”[28] In 1911 the AFM reported that some of its members travelled on foot from Louis Trichardt to Pietersburg, during which “the most remarkable manifestations of healing” occurred. The blind, deaf, and crippled were healed, and in Pietersburg “the natives came in vast numbers to be prayed for.”[29] It would appear, then, that the various Zionist missions to the northern Transvaal created a certain amount of interest, and could easily have given Lekganyane knowledge of faith healing and the Zionist practice of triple immersion, perhaps encouraging him to leave for the Rand and to join the Zionists on the Rand after his schooling ended.[30]

    Although Lekganyane dates his move to the Rand and his conversion to 1913, it probably happened a couple of years earlier. While on the Rand he met an African AFM member, Edward Lion, in Boksburg.[31] Lion, who we shall deal with in detail below, was to move back to his home country of Basutoland in 1912 as the AFM leader there, so Lekganyane must have gotten to know him before this. In these years, African Zionists congregated in large numbers on Sunday mornings in Market Square in Johannesburg, and most likely this is where Lekganyane would have met other Zionists. Within a year or two, he was based in Boksburg and was a member of the Mahlangu brothers’ church—which Lion also attended.[32] This church was initially under the AFM’s auspices, until Elias Mahlangu broke off and formed the ZAC around 1913.

    We do not know much about Lekganyane’s relationship with the Mahlangus, which lasted until about 1920. It appears that Lekganyane returned to his home village of Thabakgone in 1916 or so, and was initially the deputy pastor of a ZAC congregation there. Following the death of the minister, Lekganyane took over control of the congregation and was ordained at some point late in WWI. As the group expanded, Lekganyane fell out with the Mahlangus[33] and gave his allegiance to his old acquaintance Edward Lion.

    During the 1910s, then, Lekganyane was in the slow process of emerging as a Zionist leader.

    III. Lekganyane, Edward Lion, and ZAFM 1920-24

    It would appear that the biggest single influence on Lekganyane as a Zionist leader was Edward Lion, as several religious scholars have noted. After following out with the Mahlangus, Lekganyane seceded from the ZAC and joined Edward Lion’s new organization, the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission (ZAFM). Lion had been appointed the AFM leader in Basutoland, but in 1920 he obtained land from a sympathetic chief in a place called Kolonyama. Lion took his followers here and called the village “Zion City”. Despite increasing differences with the AFM, Lion was not expelled from that organization until 1923.

    Lekganyane was thus a member of the white-led AFM twice—in his early years with the Mahlangus and ZAC, and later with ZAFM between 1920-23.

    Official ZCC version

    Lekganyane joined ZAFM in 1920 and went to Basutoland, where Lion appointed him the Bishop of the Transvaal. Lekganyane returned and built up a church of some 900 people. In 1923 Lekganyane’s wife gave birth to a second son, who was named Edward after Edward Lion. Not long afterwards, the two men quarreled when Lekganyane wished to marry a second wife. Lion would not give his consent, as polygamy was outlawed by the ZAFM. Soon after, Lekganyane ascended to the top of Mt. Thabakgone, where he had a vision that instructed him to form his own church. Not long afterwards, he split from Lion and formed the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) in 1925.

    A Version Based on Historical Sources

    The ZCC version about the Lekganyane-Lion relationship is extremely short on details. The shortness of the narrative seems to say as little as possible about Edward Lion, and for good reason. Lekganyane was surely anxious to downplay his association with him. Lekganyane was known as a powerful faith healer, and it seems likely that he learned many faith healing techniques from Lion.

    Edward Lion was born Edward Tau in Basutoland, but moved to the Orange Free State and changed his name to Lion after quarreling with his brothers. Sometime around 1905 he attended a Zionist meeting wearing nothing but a goatskin loincloth and was converted to Zionism. After a few years he emerged as a leader, and was said to have baptized some 130 people on the banks of the Caledon River.[34] After the formation of the AFM in 1908, Lion came to the attention of its leader, John G Lake, who sought to promote him within the organization.

    John G Lake was an amazingly successful con man who used a host of clever strategies to convert people to Zionism. He also used hyperbolic accounts about various miracles to get religious sympathizers in the United States and Britain to donate to his organization. Edward Lion figured prominently in both of these strategies.

    There were two types of faith healing tricks that Lion helped Lake pull off, and he supplied Lake with Africans who helped stage these events. One trick was known as “precognition”, and was pulled off a number of times by a female compatriot who referred to herself varyingly as either the mother, wife, or sister of a Basuto chief:

    They felt they should go to Basutoland….The day before they arrived the mother of a native chief had a remarkable dream in which the Lord told her that the next day at 12 o’clock some white men would come of a different religion from theirs, and that they were to receive them in the name of the Lord and that through them the people would be greatly blessed. She went around all over the Kraal and told the people in the morning what the Lord had shown her. Her son was the chief and she also told him. The mother herself had a great internal tumor.

    At 12 o’clock precisely, the brethren came, as the Lord had saith, and when they came they found the whole Kraal in excitement of expectation awaiting them. The woman was healed. The chief gave his heart to God….Brother Van Schele told me this morning that so far as he was able to know the entire Kraal was saved.[35]

    Lion was also a supplier of lepers for faith healing stunts. He repeatedly used a former leper to testify at AFM events:

    Many lepers have also been healed. This fact is indisputable. One of them I came in contact with gave me her own testimony. This woman had lost parts of four fingers and two thumbs before the Lord healed her of this terrible disease.[36]

    In addition to providing dubious testimony, these Basuto lepers were used in other ways. In this case a leper was used at a gathering to provide the illusion of faith healing:

    Since we opened the mission on Schoeman Street, souls have been saved and believers sanctified, and many sick people healed. Our hearts have rejoiced over the black people who have come to ask for healing… [A black] woman came with a cancer in her tongue, a hole eaten right through,” was prayed for and hands laid upon her. She then left. “Yesterday the husband told us that it was well. ‘All nice now’, he said, ‘All new flesh.’ Glory to Jesus![37]

    The use of lepers only increased after 1912, when Lion returned to Basutoland, where he set up residence adjacent to the Botshabelo Leper Colony. John G Lake visited him there and maintained incredible events were occurring:

    On Christmas Eve 1912, in Basutoland, the Lord’s Supper was administered to seventy-five healed lepers. They were healed under the ministry of a black fellow who sole raiment when we first met him was a goatskin apron. It was a beautiful thing to sit with this man in the service.[38]

    John G Lake, for various reasons, turned Lion into a minor Pentecostal star. In order to raise money from sympathetic Christians in America and Europe, Lake fabricated a huge series of miraculous events that were allegedly happening in South Africa. Lion was one of the people responsible for many of these dubious miracles:

    [Lion] received the power of God, and he manifests a greater measure of the real healing gift than I believe any man ever has in modern times.[39]

    God anointed that man with the faith of God and measure of the Holy Ghost so intensely that on one occasion when a multitude of sick folks had been brought and collected in a valley, the power of God came upon him and he went up on the mountainside, stretched out his hands over the sick below, and poured out his heart to God. In a minute, hundreds of them were healed. Healing power fell upon them. There is no such instance recorded in the New Testament. Jesus promised that the last days should be marked by greater works than He Himself had wrought.[40]

    Lake appointed Lion the AFM leader in 1912, a position he would hold until 1923 when he was expelled. What appears to have happened is that Lion became increasingly delusional as time went on. After having been described as the greatest healer in the world by Lake (a greater healer even than Jesus was) Lion came to believe this was true. One of Lion’s methods of healing was to pray and sleep all night while sitting on a large stone. According to his reported speech:

    Friends, I can pray no more, but Jesus has said, ‘The works that I shall do shall he also do also; and greater works than these he shall do.’ Do you not see that there is no limit to what can be done in Jesus’ name? Thus I sit on this stone in Jesus’ name, and after doing so, go off to sleep. But I am leaving my helpers to direct the sick to the stone, that there be no panic or crushing of each other. Come quietly, in line, and sit on the stone on which I have sat, and you shall be healed in Jesus’ name.[41]

    After some years Lion became increasingly independent. He formed ZAFM in 1917, and obtained land to build his Zion from a sympathetic chief in 1920. Soon afterwards he became increasingly defiant towards the AFM, refusing to take instructions, and was censured in 1921 and expelled in 1923. This was because Lion “got into error and gave fanciful and absurd prophecies which soon resulted in his being discredited.”[42]

    Lion’s problems with the AFM went far beyond prophecy, however. Lion maintained that he had been called by God when a “shooting star” fell into his hand. He maintained that he was the “Brother of Jesus” and that his followers at Zion City “were in the place of the apostles.”[43] In addition to his god-like origin, Lion also made impressive claims about his earthly, political authority. “Edward Lion said he wanted to overcome the Kingdoms of the World and make himself King of the whole World,” according to a colonial official who investigated conditions at Zion City. His followers “look on him as a kind of spiritual king who will one day set up a kingdom in which they will be chiefs.”[44]

    Edward Lion’s Zion City was fairly small, and amounted to some seventy-six huts with several hundred ZAFM members. Although Lion likened his followers to New Testament “apostles”, colonial officials described them as constituting “all the blackguards in the country, and his village appears to be a refuge for runaway wives.”[45]

    Lion invented several unique Christian practices during his stay at Zion City. The most notorious involved his version of confession, which unmarried females and mothers of all newborn children had to undertake. Women were expected to visit Lion alone in his hut, and, following confession, were to have sex with him. In 1924 this practice became problematic for the first time when he impregnated a young woman, Seapesa, and was fined for seduction in by the local chief in a customary court. According to the Chief who fined him, Lion called “himself a minister of Religion but the truth is that he pretends to be praying for females and it is there where the acts of pregnancy occur….Chief, this is a wolf.”[46]

    This is how one woman, the wife of a Zion City elder, described in 1925 one of the two instances in which she went to see Lion for confession:

    He was naked. He caught hold of me and said he was praying for me. He had sexual intercourse with me for a very long time. When he had finished I asked him if he denied having sexual intercourse with Seapesa’s daughter and he told me not to speak about it, as I was a child. From the hut we went to hold a service in the church which is the open veld. He said during the service that if anyone spoke about the immorality of the church the person would be put to death.

    Lion eventually lost his appeal for the seduction conviction, was expelled from the communal land where Zion City was located, and spent the rest of his life in the Transvaal.

    Lekganyane, then, was a senior member of a very unorthodox church with a very spotted history. For instance, in the 1930s the government stepped in to prevent ZAFM from taking all the money many male members earned while working mine contracts. Lion and his son, then, were willing to use members as slave labor! Lekganyane is known to have gone to Zion City at least twice. On the first occasion in 1920 he was “blessed” by Lion and appointed ZAFM Transvaal leader.

    We do not know much more than that. However, we do know that Lekganyane became a well-known healer after associating with Lion. Lekganyane must have learned the arts of faith healing from Lion. Lekganyane also became enamored with the vision of creating a Zion City of his own after visiting Lion, and eventually renamed his farm Zion City Morija after purchasing it in 1942. Additionally, the fact that Lekganyane named his son and successor Edward shows the high esteem he held Lion in. What kind of place was the first Zion City that Lekganyane admired?

    “Copulation is one of the doctrines of Edward Lion’s church,” according to a colonial official who investigated it. Night services were regularly held with dancing and singing, and the men then had sex with the assembled women—“under the cloak of religion, the men misbehave themselves with them.”[47]

    On a second trip in 1924, Lion had apparently grown jealous of Lekganyane’s large congregations in the Transvaal, which apparently generated far larger donations than Zion City did. During the visit, Lion and Lekganyane apparently argued vehemently over the ZAFM Transvaal membership cards, which had Lekganyane’s name on them.[48] After this meeting Lekganyane was apparently fed up with Lion, and had his vision to form his church soon after. Conceivably Lekganyane, like the AFM, was fed up with the direction that the ZAFM had gone under Lion’s leadership. One could imagine that he left ZAFM so that his wife would not have to undertake confession with Lion in his hut after the birth of Edward Lekganyane! There are no statements, however, referring to any dispute like this—unlike his earlier split with the Mahlangus. Lekganyane, apparently, only disagreed doctrinally with Lion over the issue of polygamy! This latter issue was in any case non-existent, since Lion had dozens of “wives” all over South Africa. In fact, he seems to have had a “wife” in every village where he had a congregation.


    Engenas Lekganyane, the founder of the ZCC, had a past far different from that normally alluded to in the church’s official theology. Although he claimed to have a largely African religious and educational background, he was actually a mission school product. He was also a member of the white-led AFM for many years by virtue of his association with Zionist churches (ZAC and ZAFM) that belonged to it. He then rose to prominence by virtue of his association with a convicted rapist—the dubious faith healer and cult leader, Edward Lion. This relationship with Lion has been swept under the ZCC’s historical carpet.

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