Justice at last for Rev. Afereti Uili

By Ilia L. Likou 18 January 2017, 12:00AM

The Elders Committee of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S) has reinstated Reverend Dr. Afereti Uili as a Pastor of the church.

The decision was made last week and relayed to the sacked former Secretary General of the Church during a meeting on Thursday. 

Last year, Rev. Afereti was stripped of all his roles in the church over an allegation of a sexual nature made by a woman identified as Angeline Lesa. 

But the Supreme Court’s decision to give consent by judgment as a result of mediation between the two parties ended the longstanding fight by Rev. Afereti to clear his name. 

Speaking to Samoa Observer yesterday, Rev. Afereti acknowledged the decision by the Elders Committee.

 “Firstly, I want to thank the church for their decision,” he said. 

“What’s very important to me is the fact that they reviewed their decision and made it right.”

Rev. Afereti said he has only been reinstated as a Pastor but he has not been allocated a church to look after yet. There were other roles he held within the church which have not been returned to him.

“The most important thing is that they have reinstated my position as a Reverend. I’m very happy with that,” he said. 

“As you recall, the last time we spoke I expressed how hurt I was because of the decision they made."

“Today I don’t want talk about how deep that pain was because of what happened but I’m just grateful and happy that they have reinstated me.”

Now that the allegation has been resolved and the Elders Committee has reinstated him, asked if he would consider suing the church for his sacking last year, he said: “To be honest I’ve never thought of that."

“It doesn’t mean that the possibility has not been there but I never thought about that at all. Who knows what tomorrow and the future holds for us? We never know.” Rev. Afereti also continued to stand by his innocence." 

“Even though I pleaded with the elders of the church at that time that I didn’t do anything wrong (but) they stood by their decision.

At the time he said the alleged sex scandal “were all made up stories against me so that I could step down from my roles within the church.” For now, Rev. Afereti is grateful.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support and continuous prayers,” he said. “It has been one of the toughest times in our lives not only for me but for my wife and children as well.”

Rev. Afereti said they were innocent victims of the circumstances. 

 “But through your prayers, you were there to carry together with us the burden that we went through. This is called a Godly love. We want to say thank you.” 

By Ilia L. Likou 18 January 2017, 12:00AM

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