At home with Pastor Mboro

By Drum Digital
21 December 2014

There’s nothing conventional about Paseka Motsoeneng, known as ?Pastor Mboro: there are the bodyguards, the sexual assault and firearm charges, the upcoming TV channel . . . but he insists he’s just “a man of God”. ?DRUM visits him at his luxurious home.

By NTOMBIZODWA MAKHOBA Pictures: Paul Shiakallis

Three beefy, heavily armed bodyguards in black suits are lined up at the gates of the East Rand mansion. As one opens the gate for us, a small guy in ?a shiny three-piece purple suit and a Dobbs hat, walks towards us.

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He introduces himself as Moporofeta (prophet in Sesotho). His real name is Paseka Motsoeneng, but he’s better known as Pastor Mboro. And, we’re told, we should be grateful that we’re being allowed into the sacred sanctuary of his home.

“This house is my private space. I’ve never done interviews here before, so I guess you’re the lucky ones,” he says.

Pastor Mboro adds that he has four houses and this is the one he shares with his wife. As he ushers us inside, the aroma of food from the kitchen fills the air – his wife is preparing something in the kitchen, he says.

Then he pleads with us not to photograph her or even mention her name, as he needs to protect his family.

We take a seat on the comfortable couches in the lounge of his lavish home. The TV is on and he’s on the screen. He has made several DVDs and will soon be launching Mboro TV – his own channel – he says. He leans over and kisses the screen. “I love this man of God,” he says.

While he’s having his make-up done, he talks about his sense of humour and how he likes seeing people happy. “I’m a happy man and I love people,” he adds.

But if he’s so content and such a devoted man of God, why does he need all those bodyguards? His tone changes and he appears sad.

“I almost lost my life three years ago, one Sunday after church. We were having a prayer meeting in the home of one of my intercessors in Roodekop, East of Johannesburg, when three men attacked me.

“They pointed a firearm at me and pulled the trigger, but the gun jammed. So they hit me badly over the head with the gun instead.”

His eyes grow moist. “I was lying in a pool of blood,” he continues. “I thought I was dying.

“All I could think about was my family and the church. I still have scars on my head,” Pastor Mboro explains.

He had already hired bodyguards as he’d received a tip-off about a plot to kill him, but the guards weren’t around that day. “Three months had passed and nothing had happened and ?I became too comfortable,” he recalls. “I thought I’d be fine but not having them there that day was one of the worst decisions of my life.”

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To say Pastor Mboro is a controversial character would be an understatement. He’s ?been labelled a demon-basher, a fake and a con artist running a money-making scheme that robs the poor.

He denies it all. “I’m not a traditional healer or a fake pastor – I’m just a prophet. I don’t perform miracles and ?I don’t heal people. God is the one doing the miracles and delivers people by using me.”

It’s been claimed he undresses and touches women’s private parts while praying for them. Also not true, he says.

“Why would I touch those biscuits (vaginas)? Most of them are foul-smelling. Those women are desperately crying for help – at times they would ask me to touch their biscuits because they believed when I touched them there they would be healed.”

Pastor Mboro claims he respects women and says instead of touching them with his hand, he would put his foot on the area between their stomachs and “biscuits” when they lay on the floor – but only touched a woman’s “biscuit” when she asked him to touch because she wanted to be healed.

“I don’t undress women in my church,” he says. “I’ve never done it and I will never do it. As a Mosotho man I respect private parts – that’s why I’ve come up with names like biscuit and vuvuzela (penis). Even men come to me asking for prayers when they have vuvuzela problems and I also pray for them.”

Pastor Mboro always seems to be making headlines for all the wrong reasons. Last year, it was reported he had been charged with sexually harassing and assaulting women and young girls. Then it was claimed he paid a teacher to fake an illness so he could appear to “cure” her.

All lies, he says. “There was never a case of sexual harassment and I was never arrested for sexual assault. Instead, I was the one praying for rape victims.”

As for the woman who claims he paid her to pretend she was sick, she had “stones coming out of her biscuit” before he even prayed for her.

As for the millions he has made as a pastor and “prophet”, it’s all above board, he says. “I’m involved in a number of projects: I have properties and ?I sell Pastor Mboro’s T-shirts, DVDs and CDs.

“I also work in TV and radio. When people tithe, I don’t benefit alone – I also take that money and invest it in the Kingdom of God. With the tithes, we have built houses and fed ?the hungry.”

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His only sin, he says, is to preach God’s word. “I’m leading a painful life for saving other people’s lives.”

He’s in constant danger, he believes. The attack he was speaking about earlier is by no means the only time he’s been assaulted. He was also beaten by police and arrested after cops claimed he was in possession of unlicensed firearms.

“I spent a night in police cells and was released the next day because they couldn’t find any evidence.”

Then he was attacked outside Thetha FM studios in Orange Farm. “Again ?I was beaten and told I was not suitable for the radio station. I was called names such as Satan and thief. But this time my bodyguards were around and they saved me. Later, the same people who were fighting with me opened a case against me saying ?I pointed a firearm at them.”

He says the case has been dragging on for more than two years and the magistrate was recused from the case; and that the people who laid the charge against him have apologised.

All the drama has forced him to move his children from school to school for their own safety, he says, and it’s just his faith in God that keeps him going.

“God is love, God is life. I can lose everything – cars, houses, fame – but I don’t want to lose God. He’s my restoration.”

He says it breaks his heart when pastors exploit the poor. “Today churches are money-making schemes and they compete with each other. If your church is doing well you’re called Satan or a false prophet. Most pastors don’t teach the word – they just condemn other pastors.”

Many people don’t know that he has been in the ministry for 30 years. “The day I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour it was just days before my 15th birthday.”

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Before that he’d been tormented by nightmares. “My family took me to prophets and sangomas but nothing changed until I received Christ – then I was free and happy.”

He says people call him names, but they won’t bring him down. “I’m launching Pastor Mboro TV,” he reminds us. “I’m also bringing out a DVD on 27 July that will give you a background of who Pastor Mboro is.”

And now it’s time for us to go. Pastor Mboro needs to prepare himself for a prayer meeting. And nothing gets in the way of that.

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