ZCC takes members to court over policy changes

Zion Christian Church (ZCC) leader Bishop Barnabas Lekganyane and his lieutenants have taken the church members to court in a bid to secure their consent to amend the terms of their burial and accident insurance policies, among others.

Lekganyane,  his son Edward Lekganyane, Joseph Mosotho, Barnad De Vos, Mahlakane Lekganyane, Marc Leslie Barnet De La Harpe, Vaughan Michael De La Harpe, Sanlam Developing Markets Limited, Zion Christ Church, and Kganya Insurance Administrators, are acting in their capacity  as trustees of the Kganya Benefits Fund Trust.

They filed papers in the Pretoria High Court and have, among others, given the  church members in their capacity as  beneficiaries of the Kganya Benefits Fund Trust,  until July 22 to file papers in the same court if they want to oppose this application.

In the court papers, the church leaders said church members, or member beneficiaries, have been paying for burial, personal accident and dread disease benefits through group policies procured by the trust and underwritten by Sanlam Developing Markets Limited.

The payments, which they remitted at various church branches, were recorded in the booklet called Pukwana Ya Kganya, which they received from their branch leaders.

However, they said, due to changes in the insurance law, the trust and Sanlam may no longer continue with the group policies, hence they needed the insurance to be changed.

After the amendments to the insurance, they said,  member beneficiaries  will  receive a Pukwana Ya Khanya Insurance contract  while church committee members will receive a Thari Ya Baruti Pukwana Ya Kganya contract.

They said, though the Kganya Insurance Administrators will continue to administer the insured benefits, the terms and conditions of the new contract will be different from those of the trust as members will now claim directly from Sanlam.

“Their claim will be valid if they meet the terms and conditions of  the insurance contract. This requires, among others, that you must pay your monthly membership contributions to the trust,” read the papers.

The leaders said the church will deduct  a certain portion of  their monthly contribution and donate it to the church.

“The trust will, from your monthly membership contribution, make a donation to the ZCC on your behalf as a member beneficiary,” read the papers.

They also said  the new contract will also provide, and or procure, the Leeto La Moria benefits, roadside assistance benefits, funerary management benefits and good health assessment benefits to members.

They said they took the matter to court because they believe it was the only institution that can amend the trust deed  without the approval of the beneficiaries.

They said if members chose not to oppose the application, the church will assume that they accepted the new terms and conditions of their contract.

“In the court application, the court will be  requested to order that Sanlam is authorised to issue a policy to you,” read the papers.

They said  the application will be heard on August 3 and those who sought to oppose it  should  file answering affidavits no more than 15 days thereafter.

“If the high court approves the application, you will receive  new membership terms and conditions of membership to the trust.

“Your new membership terms and conditions booklet will become effective from the effective date. It will replace all terms and conditions of membership to the trust with effect from the effective date.

“The high court will consider the off er made by Sanlam in terms of the Pukwana Ya Kganya insurance contract, and all such other matters related to the changes as set out in the court application.”

The church member who leaked the papers to the  Sunday World said they intend to oppose the church’s court application.

“Why are they taking us to court to amend the terms of the insurances policies?

“Again, we don’t even know what the new terms and conditions of the new contracts are.

“There are a lot of things that are not clear here and that’s why we are going to oppose it,” he said.

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