Addressing the media at a press conference at the 12 Apostles Five Star Hotel and Spa in Cape Town yesterday, SACC spokesperson Reverend Lazarus Vogelstein said evening attendance at churches across the country was at an all time low.
“The SACC is fighting an evil force and it is costing us millions of rands every week. Quite frankly, it is theft and it is happening right before our eyes,” Vogelstein said.
Vogelstein said his franchise had been hit hard, with the majority of its branches reporting a reduction in tithes of around 80 per cent.
Vogelstein said, “Our people have been hypnotised, and our collection trays are empty in the evenings. We’ve tried everything, but the force of evil is relentless. We need our people back where they belong on Sunday evenings. We have sent an open letter to M-Net demanding 50 per cent of all revenue collected via SMS voting.”
M-Net issued a statement, calling it religious apathy, insisting the lack of attendance in church had nothing to do with SA Idols. While viewership is up, M-Net justified the increase saying it was in line with what had been reported year on year since the first season.
SA Idols Executive Producer ProVerb urged Idols fans to make their voices heard.
“SMS your name and ‘Yes’ if you think SA Idols Season Ten should be shown on big screens in churches across the country, or vote ‘No’ if you feel the SACC should look at tweaking its operating hours,” ProVerb said.
Vogelstein said the SACC would fight until the death. He also blamed SA Idols for the high crime rate and increase in drug abuse among the youth.
“Where there is evil, we will conquer it. If we cannot do that, we will attempt to negotiate a deal in which all parties are financially satisfied,” he said.
Vogelstein said he and good friend had been forced to cancel essential missionary work planned for Phuket and Bangkok later this year.
Outspoken Idols judge Randall Abrahams said, “It’s a no from me.”