Delegates to the on-going high synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia (ELCRN) in Mariental exchanged heavy blows on Sunday afternoon as they wait the announcement of a new bishop and deputy.
The confrontation erupted between two extreme factions, one supporting current deputy Bishop Paul Kisting and another throwing their weight behind Pastor Sageus //Keib of the Immanuel Parish for the top job.
The church held the election for a new bishop and deputy in May this year but the results are yet to be announced at the synod while over 400 000 ELCRN congregants await nationwide.
However, the polarized search for a head of the church resulted in violent clashes between the two factions, with the supporters of Kisting seeking the nullification of the May poll.
“There has been an attack on some members of the synod who are not supporting the nullification of the election in May. Three cases of assault have been launched against the attackers at the Mariental police,” said Abner Xoagub, chairperson of the ELCRN Interim Committee.
These members include clergy and laity from suspended parishes such as Hosiana Walvis Bay, Tanidare, Khorixas, Betel and Dordabis who were initially barred from attending the meeting but showed up citing church laws.
“The synod took a break and will commence tomorrow (Monday) morning at 09:00 with discussion of the motions. Depending on the outcome of that discussion, vote counting will start after that,” said Xoagub.
Since the elections in May, the ballots were kept in Rehoboth and special security features including padlocks were added to the boxes to prevent vote rigging.
CND-News will keep you updated on the unfolding events at the ELCRN Synod which is expected to end on Thursday.