Nightmare on church street



July 26, 2016
Nightmare on church street

Ncumisa Ndlakuhlolo stands in backyard, pointing to the Langa Baptist Church that has services at all hours. CREDIT: Bertram Malgas

Noisy congregation forced sleep deprived magistrate to quit her job.

This magistrate says she was forced to give up her job because the church next to her house is too noisy.

Magistrate Ncumisa Ndlakuhlolo resigned from the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court three months ago because the sleepness nights started to affect her work on the bench.

She says for the past three years, a church has made her life hell.

Ncumisa says the Langa Baptist Church in Sandile Avenue has services every night with worshippers singing, screaming and beating drums.

She says the geraas starts as early as 4.45am.

Ncumisa, who also owns the guesthouse next to the church, says she was forced to hang up her robes after her health began deteriorating.

She suffers from sleep apnoea, which causes insomnia, and uses a machine to lull her to sleep at night.

But the machine has been of no use since the church moved in.

“My health began deteriorating and I resigned,” she tells Daily Voice.

“I was doing my work an injustice because I was not sleeping and I was a zombie. I would postpone cases because I couldn’t concentrate. I would be woken up to the noises of people screaming, the beating of drums and people falling.”

She says the problem started in 2012 when Reverend Sipho Zondi took over the church, and brought with him more than 1 000 congregants.

She adds: “The church has been in existence since 1986 and we never had a problem until this pastor arrived. We had meetings with him last year and he told us that was the way he worships.”

Ncumisa contacted the City of Cape Town to have the sound levels tested, and technicians found it to be excessive.

“They were in breach and Zondi was notified. It seems the by-laws do not work in the township,” she says.

Neighbour Nokulunga Nchakana, 67, bought a new house in December 2013 but says it’s been the “biggest mistake” of her life.

She says: “My two aunts from the Eastern Cape came to visit and they were supposed to stay for two months but left after three days because of the noise.”

When the Daily Voice contacted Reverend Zondi at his church, his secretary said he was out of town.

“We have heard about this complaint before. The Reverend asks that he not be disturbed when he is away on his seminars,” she says.

The City did not comment at the time of going to press.

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