THE HIGH COURT OF SWAZILAND
the matter between:
MENTAI M. MDLULI
CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
THE APPLICANT Mr. Mlangeni
is an application by Rev. Mental M. Mdluli. The first and second
respondents are named as The Church of God of Prophecy in Southern
Africa (Swaziland) and Rev. Thomas Mlahleki respectively.
the application, Rev. Mdluli seeks orders on review, setting aside
what is described in the notice of motion as being a decision of the
first respondent "taken through the General Assembly of the
Church of Kwa-Mashu, Republic of South Africa" dismissing the
applicant as National Overseer for Swaziland and installing Rev.
Mlahleki as National Overseer for Swaziland.
affidavit of service has been filed to the effect that the
application was served on the two respondents on 20th May 1993 by
leaving two copies with Rev. Mlahleki at Sihhoye in the Lubombo
region. (i.e. in Swaziland).
his founding affidavit, Rev. Mdluli says that he resides in the
Manzini region, i.e. in Swaziland.
says that the first respondent is "The Church of God of Prophecy
in Southern Africa, (Swaziland) an institution with locus standi by
virtue of its registration in terms of the laws of Swaziland".
He attaches at Annexure "A" what he describes as a copy of
its certificate of registration.
goes on to state that on 6th April 1991 he was appointed National
Overseer of the local branches of the first respondent and. that as
such he was its head in Swaziland with full authority over the
church. He says that on 10th April 1993 a meeting took place in
Durban, South Africa, of the first respondent's "branches in the
Southern African region", and that the meeting constituted a
"General Assembly" in terms of Article 2 (Section 1) of the
first respondent's constitution. At the meeting the General Assembly
resolved to dismiss Rev. Mdluli as the head, i.e. the National
Overseer, of the Church in Swaziland and to appoint Rev. Mlahleki in
annexes at "B" a letter of that date addressed to "The
Secretary, Minister of the Interior", P.O. Box 432, MBABANE"
under the letterhead "Church of God of Prophecy in Southern
Africa" whose address is given as P.O. Box 5110, Durban.
letter is signed "Moderator: A.M. Khumalo." This is an
evident reference to the person described in the letter head as Rev.
Aaron M, Khumalo, the Modeerator General of the organisation
described in the letterhead.
letter informs the Minister that the General Assembly and Church
General Council, at the headquarters of the Church, has removed Rev.
Mdluli as National Overseer of the Church in Swaziland, on grounds
alleged in the letter, and that Rev. Mlahleki, is now the National
Overseer of Swaziland. The letter is copied to the Registrar of
Companies and to the applicant and the second respondent.
Mdluli, in this present application complains that he was not given a
hearing prior to his dismissal and further, that being a Minister of
the Church, he ought to have been dealt with under section 2 of
Article 5 of the first respondent's constitution, by the Judicial
Body created under that section, with a consequent right of appeal to
the Executive Council under section 4 of the same article.
he claims that his removal was ultra vires and the subsequent
appointment of Rev. Mlahleki irregular.
an supporting affidavit, Mr. Percy Mkhonta states that he was present
at the meeting of 10th April in Durban. He confirms the course of
events alleged by Rev. Mdluli.
first and second respondents have not appeared to oppose the
as it is presented, it poses difficulties.
organisation that purportedly dismissed Rev. Mdluli is not, on his
papers, the same one as the first respondent. The certificate of
registration at annexure "A" does not refer to the first
letter at Annexure B and the constitution at Annexure "C"
do not do so either. They all refer to "The Church of God of
Prophecy in Southern Africa", which is more fully described in
Article 1 Section 1 of that constitution as being the "General
Assembly of the Church of God in Southern Africa".
the fact that that organisation may have registered its name in
Swaziland under the Protocetion of Names, Uniforms and Badges Act
1969 does not mean that it is an entity domiciled in Swaziland. It is
a South African organisation. The events complained of occurred in
seeking to proceed against it, the applicant should in my view have
sought the leave of this court to sue by way of edictal citation.
That is a matter of the court's discretion.
depends (inter alia) on the court being satisfied that it has
jurisdiction over the respondents. In the present circumstances it is
in my view clear that it has no such jurisdiction.
these reasons, the application is dismissed.