Hindu body opens case of crimen injuria against two Durban pastors for ‘attacks’

Simeon Bradley Chetty

Durban – THE attack on Hinduism by Durban’s Revival Ministries has led to the SA Hindu Dharma Sabha (SAHDS) registering a crimen injuria case against church member Simeon Bradley Chetty and Reverend Llewellyn Joseph.

This was after a video circulated where Chetty said his father was Telugu and his mother Tamil, and while he was growing up they had worshipped other gods. He further said the name of Jesus was above every other name.

Joseph is alleged to have made similar remarks in one of his Facebook sermons.

Sabha president Ram Maharaj said they took offence to the sermon and they were not backing down in their quest for justice.

“We have lodged a complaint with the national office of the SA Human Rights Commission and we received acknowledgement of receipt last week,” Maharaj said.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed Chatsworth police were investigating a case of crimen injuria after comments were made on social media by two spiritual leaders, and that the investigation was ongoing.

Maharaj told the Daily News that last month they had also written to the Office of the President to complain about attacks on Hindus.

He acknowledged people had the right to express themselves, but said this had to be done with responsibility and restraint.

“Their vicious attacks against Hinduism were patently premeditated, unprovoked, wilful and unwarranted. They must accept responsibility for their inappropriate actions and face the consequences thereof. The anti-Hindu comments by Chetty and Joseph are hurtful, denigratory, incendiary, discriminatory, defamatory and divisive,” he said.

He said Chetty’s public statement on the church social page, that Hindus worship idols and worship other gods, was devoid of truth and was maliciously misleading.

“Hindus do not indulge in idol worship but ideal worship. Most Hindus pray through murthis or personalised tangible images, symbolising the formless, nameless, infinite, eternal, universal Supreme Divine Reality called God. According to the holy Rigveda, the oldest book in the library of humanity and the pristine source of spiritual knowledge on Earth, dating back approximately 6000 BC, it is stated that: ‘God is One. People call Him by many names (1.164.46)’,” he said.

He said the statements by Chetty and Joseph amounted to hate speech.

Revival Ministries lawyer Siven Samuel said Chetty was invited to give his testimony in public during one of the sermons and that what he said was not an attack on any religion.

“We have freedom of religion. Scripturally he was referring to the Bible, that anyone can turn to Jesus. He has done nothing legally and religiously wrong,” Samuel said. Daily News

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