Company of Prophets SA holding national conference in Pretoria

The Company of Prophets SA (COP) — a movement that unites and equips prophetic people — is holding its annual national conference at Hatfield Church, Pretoria on August 31 and September 1.

The focus of this year’s conference is the seven mountains of society and the main speakers include Dr Walter Penzhorn from Germany, Dr Pearl Kupe and Tony Cooksy.

There will also be breakout sessions on what God is doing in the mountains of business and government.

Christians in South Africa are invited to come, expecting God to speak to each one of them, establishing them in their call and and confirming that which He is doing within them, say the conference organisers.

Worship and prophetic teams will be serving at the event, as well as prophetic artists and possibly dancers.

More details about the conference are available online at . You can also register online at


Bomb scare at venue that reneged on pro-Israel rally

Police vehichles parked at the entrance to Freedom Park (PHOTO: Sakhile Ndlazi/IOL )

By Nicola Miltz — Originally published in SA Jewish Report

Freedom Park in Pretoria received a bomb threat on Wednesday afternoon, around the time the South African Friends of Israel (SAFI) were meant to be holding a mass Christian prayer rally in support of Israel.

However, at the last minute the government-owned and run Freedom Park management cancelled the event and refused to allow the highly publicised rally at their venue because it was a pro-Israel event.

SAFI was left scrambling to make alternative plans so the mass rally, arranged weeks ago, could take place as planned.

Thousands of Christians march to Union Buildings singing “Viva Israel!”

“Someone obviously did not get the memo on the venue change,” says Mark Hyman, SAFI co-chairperson. “I don’t know who called in the threat, or if we knew anything about this. It was news to us. The reality is that Freedom Park did refuse us the venue.”

He added: “Given what’s going on in South Africa with the mosque attacks, any threat against a religious or state facility is totally unacceptable and is taken seriously.”

Freedom Park events co-ordinator Pamela Singh confirmed the bomb scare on Wednesday afternoon, saying that staff had been evacuated and some of them were left traumatised.

Freedom Park CEO Jane Mufamadi told IOL news that they had received calls from a person who said they had planted several bombs inside the premises.

“We cannot take chances with people’s lives,” Mufamadi said. “When we get a bomb scare, we react. We can’t just take it lightly.”

Following Freedom Park’s refusal to host the rally – after initially granting permission and accepting a deposit – SAFI called an urgent press conference on Monday.

The emailed retraction from Freedom Park’s management was received a week before the scheduled event. In it, event co-ordinator Singh wrote that the venue was “an agency of government, and government has taken a formal decision regarding Israel, hence we have to abide by government’s decision”.

Freedom Park, the 52-hectare park overlooking Pretoria, was originally established as the South African government’s response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to honour those who sacrificed their lives to win freedom. Its website describes it as a place that “celebrates the ideals of liberty, diversity and human rights… and celebrates and explores the country’s diverse peoples, and our common humanity”.

SAFI is currently considering its legal options in light of Freedom Park’s refusal to host the prayer gathering in solidarity with Israel, said SAFI board member Benji Shulman. “The reasons stated for this about-face are questionable, and point to political meddling and interference in the management of a national monument and public facility,” he said.

In a statement this week, SAFI said that Freedom Park was not only directly contradicting its own mandate but also the provisions of our Constitution. “This amounts to a political assault on Christian rights in South Africa,” the statement said.

Shulman said the interfaith prayer event was intended to be a peaceful and civil event, supported by various Christian and other faith groups to pray and pledge solidarity to Israel – it was not a political gathering.

Freedom Park management told the SA Jewish Report this week that in light of the fact that SAFI was considering legal options, it would not comment on its reasons for cancelling the event. Public relations officer Naomi Madima said: “Freedom Park received a formal notice through their [SAFI’s] attorneys of record, Werksmans Incorporated, that they are preparing court papers for an urgent court application. We deem it proper that we allow the court process to follow a natural course so that we give the process the respect it deserves. To this end, we will address substantive matters at the appropriate time and forum.”

However, management told SAFI that it reserved the right to refuse an event which “contradicts its fundamental principles of nation-building, social cohesion, reconciliation and environmental integrity”.

According to SAFI’s co-chairman, Ben Swartz, the decision to cancel the rally is “unconstitutional, irrational and arbitrary”.

Terence Corrigan, project manager at the South African Institute of Race Relations, said: “It seems thoroughly bizarre to me that a forum supposedly existing to enhance and extend the ideals of liberty, diversity and human rights seems to regard it as appropriate to abridge their exercise.”

He added that Freedom Park management’s refusal seems to indicate that it cannot allow a pro-Israel event because of a decision taken by the government. “It seems to me that a central part of freedom is precisely the right to oppose decisions of government. Take this away and you’ve gutted the very idea of democracy.

“The situation in Israel and Palestine is one that evokes great passions around the world. It is surely the essence of democratic diversity that these be aired. Personally, I find it difficult to attribute the refusal of Freedom Park to make its facilities available to supporters of Israel to much beyond political preference.”

Meanwhile, at the urgent press conference held on Monday, several Christian representatives said they would consider changing their vote if the government was not prepared to listen to them.

Masindi Mmbengwa, leader of the Unity Fellowship Church, said: “Christians are prepared for continuous mass action and will pray until the government collapses. “They [politicians] all flock to our churches when they want our vote. Now they want to terminate our livelihood – Israel is our livelihood.”

He said those who were against Israel had been “captured” by an alternative agenda, adding that South Africa must not terminate relations with Israel: “Not in our name. As proud Christians, we say enough is enough.”

He described the South African government’s negative stance towards Israel as “a demon-possessed mentality”.

An impassioned Apostle Linda Gobodo said proudly: “We are friends of Israel, we support Israel. We are against the downgrading of the embassy, which will negatively impact the lives of all South African Christians.”

She said the sooner Christians put pressure on the South African government, the better.

Thousands of Christians march to Union Buildings singing ‘Viva Israel!’

By Nicola Miltz — Originally published in SA Jewish Report

Christians unite for Israel in Pretoria on Wednesday (PHOTO: Julian Pokroy).

Thousands of Christians took to the streets in Pretoria on Wednesday in a solidarity prayer rally for the State of Israel.

Their message to the government was loud and clear: No Israel, no vote.

Bomb scare at venue that reneged on Pro-Israel rally

“Enough is enough. The government has pushed us too far.” These are the words of Masindi Mmbengwa, leader of the Unity Fellowship Church, who expressed his Christian movement’s support for Israel. He said millions of South African Christians were opposed to the government’s continued plans to sever ties with Israel, adding that it was time the government “took notice”.

“We are going to retaliate… this march is the beginning of the real war and we are going to say NO!” he said.

Co-Chairman of South African Friends of Israel (SAFI), who organised the rally, said downgrading ties with Israel “will be contrary to South African foreign policy, which has always called for engagement with all parties [involved] in a conflict”.

This has been the consistent of stance of the South African government in all conflicts including Africa and beyond for the last 24 years.”

After blessings from various Chritians leaders, Swartz succesfully handed over the petition signed by over 41 000 people to a representative of the presidency. The petition calls for the Government to cease efforts to sever ties with Israel and re-instate the South African Ambassador to his rightful place in the Holy Land.

A petition with over 40 500 signatures was handed to a government official at the Union Buildings, calling for the government to cease efforts to sever ties with the State of Israel and to reinstate South Africa’s ambassador to Israel.

Signatories to the petition included members of civil society, political parties, religious institutions, schools and student groups from across South Africa.

The event was almost called off following the late-notice and unexpected cancellation of the venue hire by Freedom Park, where the rally was scheduled to take place.

The singing, chanting and toyi-toying crowds made their way slowly to the Union Buildings carrying placards with slogans saying: “No Cutting Ties”, “Send back the SA Ambassador to Israel”, “No to Downgrade” and ”I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.”

Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, roused the crowds with messages to the ANC, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Iran, the people of Israel and fellow South Africans.

He said the ANC had allowed Hamas to inform them and influence them. “This was a mistake. Instead of listening to Hamas, listen to us Christians. We are here representing millions of South Africans and we want the relationship with Israel to be strengthened.”

He reminded the government that Hamas was not going to be here to vote for them at next year’s elections.

His message to Hamas was simple: “We regard Israel as our friend; don’t come here and mess up that relationship.”

His message to the PA was to teach children to love instead of hate. “You teach your children to hate Israelis. It is wrong… Israelis teach their children to love, to be innovative.”

He challenged the PA to encourage the use of iPads and computers instead of knives and guns.

To fellow Israelis he said: “In spite of how the rest of the world treats you, there are millions in South Africa who love you.”

Speaking to journalists earlier, Meshoe praised Israel for the assistance it provided around the world, including Syria.

He said government had double standards when it came to Israel. “The loss of life is always regrettable, but where is South Africa’s voice when thousands of Christians are being killed by Islamist militants? They are silent.”

Mosiuoa Lekota, president of the Congress of the People, urged those present at the rally not to take sides in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but instead, to listen to both sides and encourage everybody to come together.

“Some organisations are determined to use our country as a platform to attack Israel, he said. “We are not here to tell Israel what to do. We are friends of Israel.

“There are many faiths in South Africa. We took the decision in South Africa not to adopt one faith. Therefore, we must respect each other’s beliefs and faith. We want peace in South Africa and in the whole world; therefore, we must respect each other.”

In thanking all who came in support of Israel, Chief Rabbi Dr Warren Goldstein moved the crowd with a blessing for peace. “From the depth of my heart to all of you gathered here, thank you so much, we love you,” he said.

“As we see the Union Buildings, we say to government on behalf of millions of South Africans, the majority of whom love Israel; we say this is a democracy – the government must listen to the people. We want the bond of love between South Africa and Israel to be close. For South Africa to love Israel and for Israel to love South Africa.”

Nkosi Bishop Phakama Shembe, head of the Shembe Church, said the government was arrogant and when it started to listen to the people, the people would vote for it.

According to SAFI the rally on Wednesday was supported by the Nazareth Baptist Church, the Council of Churches South Africa International (COCSAI), the Christian Ministers Council of Southern Africa (CMCSA), the Zion Christian Church (ZCC), Reconciliation in Christ Ministries, City of Mercy Tabernacle, and the Naturena Baptist Church.

Mandela legacy, Obamaphoria…and misdirected hope — Tshego Motaung

Former US president Barrack Obama delivers the annual Nelson Mandela lecture marking the centenary of the anti-apartheid leader’s birth, in Johannesburg on July 17 (PHOTO: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters via Mail&Guardian).

In search of hope, inspiration and leadership South Africans look to Obama – But is this misdirected?

South Africans came out in their numbers on July 17 to attend the annual Mandela Lecture.

It was a beautiful sunny day and it was indeed good to see about 15 000 South Africans from all walks, races, age groups –and including business, political, civil society, faith-based and traditional leaders — gathered together.

The atmosphere was positive and for a moment the recent negative headlines of racial tensions over land expropriation, infighting of the big political parties and many reports of women abuse seemed not to exist in this country.

People were generally friendly and happy to give their opinions on why there were there. The general theme that came through from the number of people I spoke to was that they were looking to be inspired and to hear what former US president Barack Obama had to say about moving the Mandela legacy forward.

It was interesting to note that many people didn’t quite care to analyse Obama’s legacy as president of the United States in relation to advancing Africa’s development. To them he was Obama, the first black man to be president of the most powerful nation, something equivalent to what Mandela did in South Africa.

Moments to celebrate
In the words of Graca Machel he represented the “best of Africa” and that’s how people wanted to view him that day – and I soon made peace that at times, despite the brokenness of our current state, we must find moments to celebrate, forget the problems and just celebrate.

In that spirit of joy South Africans gave President Ramaphosa a standing ovation each time he was introduced – the opposite to what had happened the last time Obama was in South Africa at the funeral of Mandela when people booed the then president, Jacob Zuma.

Dr Julius Garvey (PHOTO: CNN)

This bubble was however burst the very next day when I found myself in conversation with Dr Julius Garvey, the son of Marcus Garvey, who founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in 1914, a man who influenced America’s civil rights leaders like Malcom X, Martin Luther Jnr as well as  Africa’s liberation movement leaders like Kwame Nkurumah – who in honour of him and the work he did with UNIA, named the national shipping line of Ghana the Black Star Line and the black star at the centre of Ghana’s flag was inspired by him.

Dr Julius Garvey was in South Africa on his way to Namibia where a street in Windhoek was being named after his father.

He unpacked the deep challenges of the economic systems of the world that have entrapped Africa and speaking in an interview with SAFM spoke of how Obama was captured by this, and as a result could not effect change to the economic power dynamics of the current capitalist system.

He said John F Kennedy was the only president who actually tried to change these dynamics – but sadly he was assassinated, like many African leaders who wanted to reform economic dynamics.

Economic control
Today, after more than two decades of our democracy the scales are beginning to come off  eyes – many people now understand that the problem was not just the colour of the skin, but it was a fight for control of the resources, the land and means of production – the economy.

And while we had celebrated our leaders as liberators – many are beginning to understand that there was no true liberation, it was just political.

This should make South Africans pause and reflect – is there a possibility that the excitement over Barrack Obama is perhaps a misdirected zeal?

Could it be that he was just a talented African placed over an untransformed economic system to sidetrack Africans from seeking the true liberation of Africa – i.e. economic liberation?

This happened to South Africa when some of policies were not scrutinised because the obsession with the personality of Mandela blinded South Africans to the many unintended consequences of decisions made at the dawn of democracy.

There is no longer any doubt that South Africa is key to the economic transformation agenda of the continent – many companies seeking to do business in the continent choose to base themselves here.

The change in world politics – with looming trade wars between world powers e.g. US – China, Canada; Brexit and US withdrawal from signed agreements such as the Iraq deal and climate change are just indicators that old relationships are perhaps not working anymore and therefore everyone will be looking for new partners – and we see how Africa has now become a priority.

Responsibility to interrogate
This places a big responsibility on South Africans to look beyond the surface and not allow the yearning for change or new leadership cloud the ability to interrogate Obama’s beautifully-crafted speeches because they will impact also on the rest of the continent.

Obama and his family will always remain an inspiration to Africans because of their holding the most powerful position in the world – but even this must never blind Africa to the reality that the unjust economic system remains strongly in place, making the rich richer – and the poor poorer.

There is an urgent need to address this – the results of this injustice is evident in the violence, hatred and gloom over many people in the nation.

For the light of the country and continent to shine, and her healing to spring forth speedily, we cannot avoid the subject of justice.

Isaiah 58:6-7 — This is the kind of fasting God wants: – to free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.
Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless…

Until economies of the world are ordered to place the lives of people above profits – the colour of the skin of those in charge will do very little to alleviate the suffering of most of those who are poor, who happen to be Africans.

Phalatse apologises for pro-Israel remarks, says they were publicised out of context

City of Johannesburg Health MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Lucky Morajane via Times Live).

Johannesburg health and social development MMC Dr Mpho Phalatse has released a statement in which she apologises for “hurt and confusion” caused by her pro-Israel comments at a SA Friends of Israel conference on June 10.

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba reinstated suspended mayoral committee member Dr Mpho Phalatse today reports Times Live.

He said Phalatse had on Tuesday already met one of the conditions of her reinstatement‚ which was to issue a public apology. The other condition was to attend a workshop “from an appropriate body‚ to better understand the complexity of issues in the Middle East.”

Phalatse’s closing comment at the conference — that she and the City of Johannesburg were friends of Israel –sparked an angry response from political groups including the EFF, ANC and some of her DA colleagues, and DA Mayor Herman Mashaba suspended her pending an investigation into the context of her words. The ACDP and Jewish groups objected strongly to her suspension.

In her public apology statement, which she has published on her Twitter page, Phalatse acknowledges that “the Middle East conflict is a challenging and sensitive subject which, if not approached with the required consideration, causes acrimony in our diverse society”.

She says she recognises that, in isolation, her highly-publicised statement creates the wrong impression that she was positioning the City of Johannesburg on international relations matters without a mandate. However she says “a lot of confusion” was caused by publicising her closing remarks out of the context of her whole speech.

Phalatse’s full apology reads: “I would like to issue my most sincere apology to the residents of the City of Johannesburg for the confusion and hurt caused by my remarks rnade on Sunday 10 June 2018.

“I realise that the nature of the Middle-East conflict is a very challenging and sensitive subject which, if not approached with the required consideration, causes acrimony in our diverse society.

“In the unpublicised component of my speech, I specifically spoke to the commitment of the DA and our government to achieving Freedom, Fairness, Opportunity and Diversity in Johannesburg.

“The publicised component of the speech denied the listener the relevant context which was captured in the content preceding those parting remarks. This led to a lot of confusion, and I realize that many were offended as a result.

“I also recognize that the highly publicised statement, in isolation, does create the impression that I was positioning the City of Johannesburg on international Relations matters without the requisite mandate, and for that I sincerely apologize.

“I would therefore like to clarify that I was not suggesting that the city has assurned a particular position in the Israel Palestine rnatter, as this would fall outside of the city’s direct mandate.

“The work of my Departments is aided significantly through our relationships with organisations from around the world, including bMh Jewish and Muslim aligned organisations. These relationships are underpinned by links with various embassies through the diplomatic corps. It is thus within the limited context of migration for development in the City of Johannesburg that these relationships are established and nurtured.

“I fully appreciate the leadership of Mayor Mashaba and his directive to focus on the needs of our residents rather than the historical focus on International Relations.

“Labelling, hate speech or any type of discrimination or intimidation on the basis of race or religion are practices that have no place in the City of Johannesburg. It is the role of the Department of Social Development to foster peaceful relations and social cohesion between all residents in the city, and this is a cause I remain committed to.

“In my work have also come to appreciate how rnany residents of this City live without the required access to basic healthcare. As a Professional Doctor, I have found that there is so much potential for our government to improve the lives of our people.

“I regret the extent to which my remarks have distracted from this.”

Giant cross shines love of Christ over busy Pretoria highway

Hezekiel Mkhwanazi, leader of Rainbow Gospel Ministries, signs the City Love Pledge at the Capital City Dedication on Friday.

The 18m, illuminated cross boldly shines the love of Christ over the N1 in Tshwane.

The executive capital of South Africa was dedicated to Jesus at a moving ceremony at the foot of a newly-erected, 18m-high, illuminated cross overlooking the busy N1 highway south of Pretoria on Friday.

The cross which was donated to the city of Tshwane by generous benefactors, was erected on a hill close to the Botha Avenue off-ramp on Afrimat property adjacent to the Lyttelton dolomite quarry.

Leaders from several ministries and churches united around the cross early of Friday to participate in the City Capital Dedication, where they took a City of Love Pledge, declaring their support for building a city founded on brotherly love and unity and through through the love of God.

The pledge is based on Psalm 133 which  states: Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell in unity!

“The N1 is one of the main arteries of the city, leading people in and out of the city. We declare this cross to be a sign of hope for those who drive on this road — especially those whose hearts are overcome with hopelessness. We want them to see the cross, so that their hope could be restored,” said Warren Brosnihan, a former Sprinbok player who led the ceremony.

The Captial City Dedication is displayed on the stone base of the cross.

“We want people to treat each other with compassion, kindness and empathy – spreading the true Gospel message of love and unity in Christ.”

Declaring there is a massive movement of change in the nation, he said:“The people of our country have had enough, and we want to come together in unity and stand for an honourable cause.”

New beginnings
Carolle Watson, leader of Carrolle’s Call, led the crowd in in a prophetic prayer over the city, saying:”We are taking territory back from the enemy for the Kingdom of God, not only for the city but also for the nation. We are entering a season of new beginnings and we will win souls!

“We shall become vessels of honour. Pretoria will become a fruitful city and we will forget the toils of the past.”

Daryl Hardy, one of the Pretoria benefactors and the visionary behind the cross project, said “The cross will serve as a visible testimony of the love of Jesus,”

“It was truly a group effort; thank you all who took part in this project. The cross belongs to the citizens of Pretoria and I hope that everyone who looks upon it will see the grace of God, the works of Jesus that have been completed for us all on the cross.”

Councillor Gert Visser, who attended the event on behalf of the mayor of the Tshwane metro, Solly Msimanga, said: “It is truly an incredible day and I am so grateful to be part of it. This is a worthy cause, that the city dwellers can be part of.”

Visser was the first person to sign the City of Love pledge — on behalf of the metro council.

Louis Loubser, managing director of Afrimat, said the company had decided to erect two poles on the property, respectively flying the company flag and the South African flag.

“Flags remind us of where we come from, but also help us to reflect on where we are going. When Daryl approached me with his vision of erecting a cross here, I couldn’t think of a better idea on how to honour God and bring hope back to the citizens of our city.”

The dedication event ended with a worship song and celebration and prayer under the cross.

Zanele Hlatshawayo runs to fight depression and save lives

Zanele Hlatshwayo, ultra runner and founder of the #Rise18 campaign to raise funds to support the fight against depression and suicide.

While she runs, she feels free, she feels safe — she is loved, says Zanele Hlatshwayo.

“I literally feel God take my hand when I’m running and He is with me until I cross the finish line,” says the ultra-marathon runner and campaigner for people who suffer from mental illness — especially depression.

She took on the challenge to run 18 races between January and July this year, in a campaign called #Rise18 in partnership with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG).

Hlatshawayo has two more big races coming up – the Comrades Marathon on June 10, which is 90 km and the Washie 100 race of 161 km, which is held in the Eastern Cape over July 27-28.

“As daunting as it is, I know God is with me. My motto this year has been For God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

For Hlatshawayo the fight against depression hits home. She was deeply depressed after the loss of her father, a man who she calls her hero, who committed suicide

Finding a cause
Depression is a silent killer – in South Africa 23 people commit suicide daily — mostly men with teen suicide on the rise. It is statistics such as these that inspire Hlatshawayo to take the next step and make a difference.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about depression and suicide. The aim is to drive some form of change and for people to realise that suffering from mental illness is not a sign of weakness. We need to love and support those people who may suffer from it. It may be just the only thing that could save their lives, literally.”

Her saving grace
For Hlatshawayo the goal of the project is not only to raise money for the cause — she wants to share her struggle with others to create awareness on how to overcome it.

After her father’s suicide Hlatshawayo cried almost daily but eventually she got tired of crying. It was then that she knew she needed to do something to overcome this.

“So one day I decided to go for a run. At first I was running away from all the pain, anguish and the bitterness of it all but soon, I started to realise running made the whole ordeal bearable and most importantly made me feel stronger,” she says.

“Running was and is my sacred space where I get to make decisions about my life. There are no interruptions just me and my thoughts.”

The struggle is real
After her father’s death Hlatshwayo struggled with her anger towards God.

“I couldn’t pray and wondered where God was on that fateful day when my father took his life, or even worse, was He there but did nothing?”

During these difficult times her grandmother heard her cry in the evenings, and she comforted her by praying for her, when she couldn’t.”

Hlatshwayo finally started praying for herself again.

“I asked God to help me forgive myself and to forgive my father, and grant me the wisdom to accept what had happened.”

Then God spoke to her. “God wanted me to share my story. He told me it would not be easy but that because of this, lives would be saved. I believe by being obedient to God I have stepped into my purpose.

“Through my pain I have found that my purpose is to save as many lives as possible.”

Through this journey Hlatshwayo came to realise that God is love.

“Even in the midst of darkness God is love and He understands our tears, even when no one else is there. This year I have seen the hand of the Lord work miracles through #Rise18. At the beginning I was scared. How could God trust me while I still suffered and how do I muster the courage?

“But God carried me through it all despite everything. Even after I have suffered injuries because of the running, I know God will see me through. It is a journey I have to complete!”

To support #Rise18 go to or join Hlatshwayo’s cause by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram

‘Kingdom of God will be on display at Africa March For Jesus on June 16’

“I truly believe that the Church has a responsibility in this season to put the Kingdom of God on display and to proclaim with authority that we have a solution – a message of hope and peace,” said Dr Nico Landman ahead of the 5th annual Africa March For Jesus in Johannesburg on June 16.

The march from the corner of Green Hills and Sam Green Road, Meadowvale to Mount Zion Prayer Hill, Beula Park, Ekurhuleni, from 9am, will not be over a long distance – nor is it about the size of the crowd – but it will be a prophetic action and a display of Kingdom unity, said Landman who initiated the first Africa March For Jesus in 2014 after experiencing the amazing March for Jesus in Brazil the previous year.

Dr Nico Landman.

At the time he was contacted by the organisers of the Brazil march in 2013 and invited to attend, he had not yet heard of the event in that nation and his immediate response was that it would not be possible to attend. But God stirred something in his spirit and he felt he had to go to Brazil and within two hours of his invitation arrangements were made to go there.

He said he was overwhelmed by what he experienced in the Brasilian capital São Paulo where more than 800 000 Christians marched through the city in a column that stretched for 5km. “It was not a man thing but a divine movement – there was an open heaven,” he said.

The March for Jesus in Brazil, now in its 26th year, is supported by millions of people in cities throughout the nation. In the 25th anniversary march last year there were two million participants in São Paulo alone. According to the march’s official website “ is a prophetic act, marked by the praises and cries of a people who believe in the transforming power of the Gospel”. The next march in Brazil is set for next Thursday, May 31.

Landman, who is the founder and visionary of the Beulah Park/Mount Zion CPR (conference, prayer and resource) Centre, said the Brazilian march hosts asked South Africans at the 2013 march if they would like to duplicate the march in SA.

Landman said he realised that he could not duplicate the march in South Africa but that he could “plant a seed” and so in 2014, the same year that marches started in the Congo and Zambia, he launched the first march in Johannesburg. Mindful that South Africa is destined by God to be a divine gateway to Africa, and because the Beulah Park/Mount Zion CPR has participants from around Africa, he positioned it as the Africa March For Jesus. There were representatives from about 15 African countries at the inaugural march.

Last year’s march.

The day before last year’s march, which was scheduled for June 24, the organisers received a word from a Congolese pastor: Haggai 1:14-15 — And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah…and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people….on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

This word inspired them to open the March 4 Jesus nationally in 2018 and they sent details to 150 cities and towns inviting them to participate. They also experienced a technological breakthrough which has enabled them to livestream the June 16 march which gave them a vehicle to share the march nationally irrespective of what happens on the ground around the country. Radio stations were also coming on board.

Landman said it was easy to become disheartened when people did not appear to respond in numbers to a divine call to action but he believed the important thing for him was to be obedient to the call to clearly proclaim healing and hope in Jesus. Significantly, the March 4 Jesus campaign has joined hands with the Healing the Nations prayer campaign launched by Linda Gobodo of Vuka Africa on June 16 last year, he said.

The main activities on the march would be to pray, proclaim and praise. More information on how to participate in the Beulah Park/Mount Zion march, or how to be involved in your area, or how to access the livestream,  is available on the website or by calling 087 701 0893.

More than 1 100 young people commissioned at Empowered21 congress

Originally published in Charisma News

The Empowered21 Africa Congress came to a close on Saturday May 19 as more than 1 100 young people came forward to be anointed for ministry.

“To see the altar filled with young leaders under the age of 35 ready to accept their destiny to make a spiritual impact as Spirit-empowered leaders was amazing,” said Dr Billy Wilson, president of Oral Roberts University and global co-chair of Empowered21. “It was an honor to pray over them as the future doctors, lawyers, presidents, evangelists, pastors, bishops, government officials and professors… the next generation of leaders for the nations of Africa.”

The commissioning service was the culmination of the four-day Congress, which attracted delegates from 50 countries. A 2 400-voice children’s choir, all dressed in white shirts, packed the stage and overflow areas of the auditorium and captivated the delegates with animated praise and worship songs native to South Africa.  Wilson and Apostle Professor Opoku Onyinah, E21 Africa Co-chair, prayed over the children in the commissioning moment for these young lives.

“It moved me to the core of my being and brought tears to hear these children commit their love to Christ in song and spoken word to the 2033 challenge of Empowered21—to see every person on earth have an authentic encounter with the Holy Spirit by 2033,” said Onyinah.

Co-chairs of the Africa Empowered21 Next Generation Network (NGN), Apostle David Hayforn from the Church of Pentecost in Ghana and Pastor Thandanani Savhasa of the Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, shared the stage in a powerful exchange of messages echoing the same theme as a cry from the next generation: “Give us the baton, we are ready!”

Sessions and educational tracks were offered at the event site, Word and Life Church, outside Johannesburg. Ministry tracks, many filled to overflowing with delegates, were held during the afternoons of May 17 and 18. Sessions on Thursday included Advocacy and Prophetic Voice to the Nations, Christian Business Ethics and Networking, Reaching People with Disabilities and Children’s Ministry. On Friday, delegates flocked to tracks dealing with discipleship, humanitarian aid and disaster relief, prayer, theology and a session dealing with deliverance and prophetic ministry challenges.

Prior to the afternoon track sessions on Friday afternoon, delegates to the Congress heard powerful messages from Dave Burrows (Bahamas), Claudio Freidzon (Argentina), LaDonna Osborn (U.S.), and Michel Ouedraogo (Burkina Faso). Wilson challenged the delegates to live in a new dimension by “burying your past, surrendering your present, and accelerating your future” as a climax to the Friday evening general session.

Earlier in the Friday service, E21 Africa Cabinet Co-chair Frank Chikane recognised members of the Africa Cabinet and also reported registration figures that included a country roll call. “I was moved with emotion reading the list of countries and heard attendees shout out country names from onsite registration,” said Chikane. “Clearly, this was the work of the Lord as Africa is on a new path of significance.”

The Empowered21 celebration of Pentecost 2019 will be held for the Latin America regions in Guatemala City, Guatemala, from June 5 to 7 2019.

SA will be known for reconciliation, says Cindy Jacobs at Empowered21 congress

Cindy Jacobs (PHOTO: File picture, Facebook).

“South Africa will be known as the country of reconciliation,” Cindy Jacobs, respected American prophetess, teacher and author, prophesied over the country. [See full prophecy here]

She gave a riveting talk on the importance of the gift of prophecy, and then proceeded to demonstrate the gift by giving Word on Africa and South Africa. This all happened at the Empowered21 African Congress that is taking place in Johannesburg until Saturday.

“God wants to heal the land; we just have to trust him. He heard the cries of the land,” she said.

There was not a dry eye in the house as Jacobs said the land in South Africa is groaning under the indignities and violence of the past, “and there has been a lot of bloodshed here.”

She said the people of the country should not look to the government for a workable solution but rather trust that God will bring healing, especially through a movement that is going to start through the church.

“I also see various trading routes throughout Africa that will be established to break the cycle of poverty over the continent.”

Jacobs said churches must not be scared to embrace the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially prophecy.

“As a church, we should take advantage of the gifts. Who would not want to know the future? The millennials have a hunger for the supernatural; that is why they are so interested in witchcraft, tarot card readings and mediums. We should present them with the real thing, and not let them be deceived by the counterfeit powers out there!

“I know there are a lot of prophets out, who’s prophecies did not come to light, but we should take up the challenge and release a teaching gift, to strengthen and support their gift, rather than avoiding it.”

Reverend Frank Chikane, Africa co-chair of Empowered21, had the audience on fire. He said people should take care not to be seduced by the power of God. “It is not for us to misuse or show off God’s power. Power can be destructive or it can be used to build the Kingdom of God – for God’s glory only.”

He said a good sermon had its role to play, but in an instant it can be irrelevant, when the people are touched by the power of God.

Dr Goodwill Shana.

Dr Goodwill Shana of Word of Life International Ministries in Zimbabwe supported Chikane’s talk by highlighting the dangers of power, when it is showcased without the foundation of God’s principles.

“That is why we get churches who are in chaos, ordering their congregation to eat grass, and spraying them with insecticide. The word of God should always support what we do,” he said.

Dr Fakry Hanna, a theologian and evangelist from Egypt shared heartfelt testimonies from missionaries who ministered to refugees in the Middle East. “Even if you are deserted, lost most of your family, God has not forsaken you. We have seen countless times how God carried these people- and heard their desperate cries.”

He believes God plans a great revival in the Middle East, especially Egypt.

Dr George Wood, Global co-chair of Empowered21, said God will almost always show off his power when we think it’s impossible. “The enemy wants to limit your resources and maximise your discomfort but if you trust in God and obey Him, He will reveal the bigger plan. He is the God of the impossible and He wants us to grow in faith.”

Dr Niko Njotorahardjo, chair of Empowered21 in Asia, said he believed a new Pentacost will come where masses will be touched by an authentic encounter with the Holy Spirit.

The main goal of the Empowered21 movement is to equip the body of Christ to reach out to their community and to the nations of world. “Our vision is that every person on earth would have an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ through the power and presence of the Holy Spirit by Pentecost 2033,” states its vision statement.