Court rejects Rev Zitha’s ruling in Jericho war

Mbabane, Swaziland – High Court Judge Jacobus Annandale has rejected Reverend Ntfonga Zitha’s ruling that Bhekibandla Vilakati is the leader of the Jericho church.

This throws the protracted legal battle in the Jericho to a different dimension altogether.

The judge made a ruling yesterday and dismissed Ntfonga’s arguments that his findings during a commission set by the League of Churches had established that Bhekibandla was the leader of the church.

This follows gruelling cross examination by Advocate Lucas Maziya who challenged his ruling that Bhekibandla was the leader.


Consequent to the ruling, the High Court will on Monday now listen to the application by the Khanyakwezwe faction of the church to have the Bhekibandla faction stop wearing the red gowns as they were not part of the Jericho church.

Khanyakwezwe wants the High Court to order the Bhekibandla faction of the church to have their separate identity as they were no longer part of the church including, but not limited to, having separate and different church gowns.

A committee commissioned by the League of Churches, headed by Reverend Ntfonga Zitha, had ruled that Bhekibandla Vilakati was the rightful leader of the church.


This is contrary to the name of Khanyakwezwe that has been said to have been submitted to His Majesty King Mswati III.

The League of Churches had been instructed by the High Court to decide on who was the rightful leader of the church, which is popularly known as the Red Gown Sect (Bongubo Zibovu).

Leading to the decision to reject Reverend Zitha’s ruling, the High Court judge was not convinced of the truthfulness of Reverend Zitha’s ruling on the rightful successor of the late Melika Vilakati.

Advocate Maziya confirmed that the judge had rejected the Reverend’s ruling and that next week Monday they will come again to contest that the Bhekibandla faction be stopped from wearing red gowns as they were not officially within the red gown sect.