Clement Ibe, a Nigerian senior pastor at Bethesda Christian Centre (BCC), Pretoria, South Africa, has allegedly fled to the United States of America after defrauding the church of millions of rand.
According to Sunday World, a South African weekly newspaper, members of the church who identified themselves as the BCC Concerned Group Task Team, first wrote the country’s Department of Social Development in December 2021 when they found out about Ibe’s corrupt activities.
In the letter, penned by Molefe Tselapedi, the task team chairperson, it was alleged that Ibe and his board had failed to account for the church’s spendings, running into millions of rands, over a 20-year period.
They also requested the police’s directorate for priority crime investigation, the Hawks, to investigate what happened to the finances of the church as well as their property project worth R90-million, allegedly registered under Ibe’s company, World Outreach, without church members’ approval.
“We believe monies were laundered to fund this whereas ours operates principally in SA and engages as a community church and not an international operation,” Tselapedi wrote in the letter to the Department of Social Development.
“We are convinced that Pastor Clement Ibe is resolute to continue misusing the church’s resources and siphoning funds for personal gratification.”
In March, Luyanda Ngonyama, Social Development director of non-profit organisations, wrote members of the BCC to dissolve the previous board and elect an interim.
“The assets of the church should be protected, preserved (not sold) and not used for any purpose rather than to fulfil the intention of the church and an asset register should be submitted to the non-profit directorate within seven days on receipt of this notice.
The directorate will monitor the implementation of the contents of this notice and may send a delegate to observe all the proceedings.”
He further directed that all the former board members and leaders of the church should cooperate with the directorate’s forensic investigations.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.