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Anger and violence flare in Pretoria

20 July 2012

By a staff reporter

THE Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, has set up a task force to "discern the root causes of the discord in the diocese of Pretoria", his spokesman has confirmed.

The task force, which is already working, will examine a raft of long-running disputes between the Bishop of Pretoria, the Rt Revd Jo Seoka, and his parishes, especially the congregation of St Alban's Cathedral, Pretoria. Its report will be sent directly to Archbishop Makgoba.

In May, church members took Bishop Seoka to court after he ordered the cathedral to be closed, after what he said was a series of "ugly confrontations" between parishioners and ministers ( News, 1 June). A High Court judge ordered the cathedral to reopen, and mediation to take place.

The disputes, which have been running for years, include suggestions that the Bishop removed a former Dean of the cathedral, and also that he has misappropriated diocesan funds. The Bishop has denied all charges.

The latest allegation surrounds the reported assault on a priest whom the Bishop had accused of leaking confidential church documents.

Newspapers in Pretoria report that the police have confirmed that they are investigating a case of common assault.

The Archbishop's office directed all enquiries about the assault to Bishop Seoka; but the Bishop had not responded to the Church Times by the time it went to press.


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