Gospel singer Solly Moholo faces expulsion for performing church songs

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Moholo, over the past 15 years, allegedly failed to stop wearing the church uniform and to perform its dance at gospel music festivals.

Sunday World can reveal that Moholo failed to appear before Lekganyane and other church elders in Moria earlier this month and again yesterday. He was expected to be excommunicated from Africa’s biggest church.

He declined to comment. “I prefer not to comment on the matter,” he said.

Attempts to solicit comment from ZCC spokesman Emmanuel Motolla drew a blank as he ignored our calls and text messages.

Moholo, christined Solly Molokoane, ruffled feathers when he performed the church’s sacred dance, called mokhukhu, after bursting onto the music scene in 2001.

Moholo performed clad in gear identical to the church’s khaki uniform. The white tekkies he wears came under scrutiny as it was believed he was mimicking their trademark manyanyatha shoes.

He belted out a song titled Mpoho, similar to the one sang by ZCC congregants at church services, without the church’s permission.

The musician was first called to a meeting by Shoshanguve and Mamelodi ZCC branches in 2001, where pastors accused him of intellectual property theft. At the time he apologised.

Sunday World has seen the minutes of the meeting, held on July 10 2001, in which Moholo apologises when interrogated about his sins.

“I was wrong. I apologise. I thought my stage attire was different from that one of the church when I bought it,” he tells the meeting.

“I would not have bought it if it was identical to the church uniform because I wouldn’t deliberately hurt the church. I would stop this the same way I stopped dancing mokhukhu on the stage.”

But he continued using the trademark songs and uniform, much to the anger of the bishop. A friend of his, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal, said Moholo felt his stage regalia was not identical to the church uniform.

He had told him he did not understand what the fuss was about as he had stopped dancing mokhukhu and singing the song Mpoho a few years before .

“That is why he continued to sing wearing those clothes,” he said.

“He does not wear manyanyatha. He wears a pair of white tekkies.

“And the hat he wears doesn’t have the star sign on it.

“Although the jacket and pants he wears are similar to the church’s uniform in colour, they are definitely not the uniform.”

Sunday World has seen a letter that Moholo wrote in Sepedi to an unnamed ZCC secretary-general in Moria, in which he raises his concerns.

Moholo says in it he is unable to attend the meeting in Moria on June 4 because of safety concerns.

“The Soshanguve pastors invited me to our church and read me a letter you sent to them asking me to come to Moria on Saturday June 25,” he says.

“The letter doesn’t address my concerns, which I mentioned in the letter I sent to you requesting postponement of the meeting from Saturday June 4 to Saturday June 25.

“I request that you put in writing that on Saturday June 25 I will be safe and protected from the insults and intimidation I endured in the past.

“I also request the availability of the minutes of the meeting, which was held on 9/08/2014.

“I also want the letter Mr Jan Mampuru asked me to sign and the agenda of the June 25 2016.

“These must be sent to me before the date of the meeting.”

Some church congregants from Soshanguve, where Moholo attends, said the meeting was postponed to July 2 after church pastors failed to comply with his demands.

The congregants said Moholo was paranoid after he was allegedly kidnapped at a music festival in Mahikeng a few years ago.

“He suspects they were fanatic church members. He just wanted to be assured he will be given a fair hearing and that no insults would be thrown at him,” he said.

“This is informed by the previous meeting he had with some senior pastor at the church in Soshanguve, where he was called names.”

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