According to reports, some church leaders were arrested after a human skull and other remains were found in a coffin at the church. The leaders of the church based in Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, are claiming that their religion requires them to keep human remains in temples for religious purposes and that these particular remains are over 70 years old.
According to the Sunday News, the matter came to light after an informant tipped off the police about smuggled goods at the Masonic Temple of the MacDonalds in Newton, Kwekwe.
A police report on what transpired reads,
Police received a tip-off from an anonymous caller that Ian Annandale was keeping smuggled goods at Masonic Temple of the MacDonalds in Newton, Kwekwe.
A search was conducted and the team discovered an empty wooden coffin, a skull and two radius bones on top of the cabinet in a room at the back of the church. Annandale referred police to Marthinus Pretorius.
He was contacted on his cellphone and indicated that the skull and bones were for religious purposes left by previous Masonic Temple of the MacDonalds church members. He said the remains were over 75 years old.
Pretorius referred police to James Chigwedere the Grand Master of all Masonic Temple of the MacDonalds churches in Zimbabwe who stated that it was their religion’s requirement to keep the skulls and bones in their temples.
Pretorius appeared in court last Thursday facing a charge of violating a corpse. He pleaded not guilty. Gweru magistrate Phineas Murandu remanded the matter to May 7 for trial.