The first wife of late International Pentecost Holiness Church (IPHC) leader Reverend Glayton Modise has reportedly fled the church’s headquarters in Zuurbekom, southwest of Johannesburg, following “running battles” between her and his second wife on Wednesday.
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Mirriam (also known as Mmapoloko) obtained a court order to remove her belongings from the property, according to a report published by the Sowetan on Thursday. She is apparently quarrelling with Modise’s second wife Pearl Tafu over his multimillion-rand estate.
Mirriam was reportedly welcomed by a large crowd of the church’s congregation that supports Tafu – who was not home – when she arrived in Zuurbekom with empty removal trucks, a number of police officers and armed Red Ants security personnel.
It is said that scuffles ensued during her arrival, but two hours later, the trucks packed with her belongings left the property.
Here’s what we know about the IPHC:
- The IPHC was formed in 1962 by Modise’s late father, Reverend Samuel Modise, in Meadowlands, Soweto.
- The church believes in healing and miracles, and its headquarters were opened in Zuurbekom in 1991 and were inaugurated by former president FW de Klerk.
- The church is regarded as one of the largest in the country, claiming over 3 million followers.
- Between 5 000 and 10 000 people attended monthly healing sermons at its 380 branches across the country.
- Modise died on February 9, 2019, at Mediclinic Morningside in Johannesburg after a short illness.
- Polygamy is not regarded as part of the church’s policy, but it is church members’ choice to engage in polygamous marriages.
- Earlier this year in April a court ordered that two factions within the church form an eight-member executive committee to run the church’s affairs after bitter battles to control the church’s finances.
- In August church elders were reportedly robbed of R1.3 million in cash by 12 armed gunmen in what was suspected to be an inside job.
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