KwaSizabantu is a Christian mission founded in 1970. In a series of News24 reports –supported by accounts from victims– information surfaced that some church members suffered physical, sexual and psychological abuse. The mission also faces accusations of fraud.
Woolworths has stopped doing business with the fruit and vegetable supplier owned by the controversial KwaSizabantu, as it awaits further information about allegations of abuse and fraud at the mission.
“Woolworths has been made aware of the allegations against the KwaSizabantu Mission. Emseni Farming, our supplier, farms on land owned by the mission and, while the allegations do not implicate Emseni, we take allegations such as these very seriously and will offer authorities any assistance they may require. We have ceased all orders with Emseni Farming while we await further information from them,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
The retailer said Emseni Farming had been its supplier for the past 10 years, supplying sweet peppers, lettuce, and dragon fruit to their supermarkets in KwaZulu-Natal. Through one of its companies, Ekhamanzi Springs, the mission also supplies aQuellé bottled water to some of South Africa's giant retailers including Pick n Pay, Makro, Spar, Shoprite, Checkers and Food Lover’s Market.