Court rules against Reverend Rantle
The High Court has restrained Reverend Daniel Rantle from associating himself with the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and its company.
Reverend was expelled from the church in 2006 for alleged misconduct but argues in court papers that the disciplinary hearing that found him guilty was held in his absence as he had already left the church in 1998. He however, says he joined the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (Proprietary) Limited Company, which looks after the church’s assets, as a member and Minister.
But the church, company, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa Ziphozihle Daniel Siwa, and Executive Secretary of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa Charmaine Morgan, sought the court’s intervention in restraining Reverend Rantle and two other individuals from using the church’s names, and church-related material and refrain from associating themselves with the church’s company.
They accuse Reverend Rantle of “passing himself as the Superintendent of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and or Head of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (Proprietary) Limited and that his followers wear the same uniform as that of the first applicant and also the same log”.
Reverend Rantle is cited in court papers alongside Stephen Mapheelle, ‘Malimpho Mary Phatela, the Registrar of Companies, Minister of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing and the Attorney General as first to sixth respondents, respectively.
Reverend Rantle, in court papers, describes Mr Mapheelle and Ms Phatela as his “faithful” associates. The three had registered as the only directors of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (Proprietary) Limited Company.
But acting High Court Judge Justice John ‘Musi on Tuesday ruled in favour of the church. The judge said Reverend and his “faithful” associates should stop using the name of the church, and uniforms “designed in the three traditional colours of the church being red, white and black”.
He also ordered the trio and their followers to stop using the church’s logos, symbols, emblems and coat of arms.
The South Africa-based judge also ordered the Registrar of Companies to remove the names of the trio from all records relating to the church’s company.
Justice ‘Musi further ordered the Registrar of Companies to restore in the records and re-register Daniel Jacob Senkhane, Jakob Teboho Semane and Joseph Hlehlethe as directors and members of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (Proprietary) Limited Company.
Justice ‘Musi also ordered the trio to pay costs of the suit on the grounds they knew they were acting illegally.
“There is no reason why the costs should not follow the success.
“It is clear that the first to third respondents (Reverend Rantle and his two associates) acted illegally and they endeavoured to defend a matter in which they had very little, if any, prospects of success,” Justice ‘Musi said.
“Although many would be hesitant to admit it, churches are, these days, run as business. They generate huge amounts of money in order to fulfill their religious, philanthropic and educational duties.
“They, therefore, have a reputation worthy of protection against another person or institution misrepresenting to the public that it is that particular church or affiliated or associated with that church whilst it is not.”