Hell fire as ‘miracle’ pastors dodge oversight
The miracle workers who resurrect the 'dead' and haul in millions in tithes could face peer review
Charismatic pastors behind a string of bizarre and unvetted miracles – which draw millions in untaxed tithes – are the ones fighting hardest to avoid legislative oversight, all because they have the most to hide.
For Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, who chairs the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the unwillingness of church leaders to subject themselves to scrutiny was a clear message.
“Some don’t want to subject themselves to monitoring or oversight, they just want to continue but doing whatever they want,” she said.
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva was addressing a national consultative conference of the commission in Pretoria on Monday.
And just hours after Pastor Alph Lukau of Alleluia Ministries brought a “dead” man back to life during a church service, she said there was dire need for a peer review mechanism.
Videos show the bewildered man – styled as a modern-day Lazarus – sitting upright in a coffin after he was touched by Lukau.
This mechanism, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said, would guard against abuses uncovered by the commission, including pastors spraying their flock with pesticide, and ordering them to eat grass or drink petrol.
“My faith has been tested in the last four years and I have seen things from religious leaders that I never thought I would see,” she said.
“When you have something to hide, you fight the hardest,” she added.
The commission had their hands full, probing the conduct of the likes of controversial Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng, better known as Pastor Mboro.
Mboro is one of the pastors who has crossed swords with the commission over its investigation into harmful religious practices.
Mboro said the commission wanted him to make his bank account public, but he refused.
In April 2016‚ Xaluva-Mkhwanazi opened criminal charges against him at the Hillbrow police station. She said at the time: “We have formally laid charges against Mboro.”
Referencing her face-off with Mboro, she said that she’d earned the “Antichrist” label.
“I have been called so many things like that and then I went to open a charge after being called that. We still have work to do, it would seem,” she said.