Pastor dragged to court over unpaid loan

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MASERU — A pastor of a local church has been accused of being a “crook” after he allegedly refused to repay a loan he got from a daughter of one of his parishioners.

Reverend Selengoane Tsikoane of the Abandoned Church is being sued by Lindiwe Morrison who alleges that he refused to repay the M14 000 that she loaned him in 2008 to fix his minibus.

Lindiwe, whose mother Mamello Morrison is a member of the Abandoned Church and is based in South Africa, told the Maseru Magistrate’s Court this week that she had approached the court after attempts to recover her money from Reverend Tsikoane hit a brick-wall.

A bitter Lindiwe told the court on Monday that she had deposited the money into the reverend’s account following a persistent request by her mother.

She said she deposited the money from Pretoria after her mother’s request for her to help the reverend fix his car had become something of an “abuse”.

Lindiwe said she was reluctant to give the reverend the money but her mother phoned and texted her several times imploring her to help the pastor.

She then agreed.

She said she first deposited M8 000 but her mother called her later to tell her that the pastor needed an additional M6 000 to fix the vehicle. She said she obliged.

Lindiwe told the court that she was however surprised when Tsikoane refused to pay back the money claiming that he had never received money from her.

“It is interesting and fascinating that the ‘man of cloth’ said that I did not (lend) him the money,” she said.

“After I had deposited M8 000, my mother told me that the pastor wanted another M6 000 which I also deposited at the same (bank) branch around May 2008.”

“Had I known that the pastor was not a trustworthy person I could have suggested a written agreement,” she said, adding that after depositing the money she had not bothered to keep the deposit slips because she thought the “pastor was a trustworthy person. I want my money with interest,” she said.

Before the fall-out, Lindiwe said, she had at one point engaged the pastor to ferry her guests from Moshoeshoe I International Airport to Manthabiseng Convention Centre where she used to host workshops.

Lindiwe’s mother, Mamello, also testified that the Reverend Tsikoane had pestered her to loan her some money.

Morrison said she had persuaded Lindiwe to help out the pastor.

The reverend, Mamello said, had promised to pay Lindiwe in November 2009.

“He is lying if he says that he did not borrow the money,” Mamello said.

“The vehicle was fixed and he was operating smoothly and had promised to pay Lindiwe in November 2009.”

She told the court that she had been a member of the church since 2006 when they were expelled from another religious group called Fill the Gap Ministries.

Morrison said she had asked Lindiwe to help Tsikoane because he was the only pastor in the church who was not employed.

The case is before Magistrate Masupha Kao.

Lindiwe is represented by Advocate Ts’abo Matooane while Advocate Motsamai Tlapana represents Tsikoane.

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