Prophet of Doom sprays pesticide on congregants

By Drum Digital
21 November 2016

A Limpopo pastor who sprayed his congregants with Doom pesticide to heal them will be called to account for his actions.

A Limpopo pastor who sprayed his congregants with Doom pesticide to heal them will be called to account for his actions to the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Culture, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Commission).

Furthermore, the commission’s Chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says they will be pushing for legislation to stop pastors from taking advantage of church members. “The legal framework that we are proposing will allow for a peer review mechanism that will say seniors in a church can sit down and discuss whether [the pastors and their actions] are in line or not in line.”

Pictures of Prophet Lethebo Rabalago spraying Doom on his congregants on Sunday morning emerged on Facebook under the account of his church Mount Zion General Assembly.

The pastor is seen spraying doom on one of his congregants, who squirms as the poisonous substance drenches her face. Another is seen being sprayed on the feet with her smart red shoes off, while a third congregant is seeing sprayed directly in the eyes.

The setting appears to be a make-shift church in a tent, without a formal structure, and those who aren’t participating watch without a hint of shock or surprise.

In an attempt to shed light on why churchgoers are willing to subject themselves to such risky behaviour, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says the problem is poverty.

“The challenge is that our people are vulnerable because of poverty, inequality and unemployment. When you look for answers and you can’t find them, it gets to a stage where you become very vulnerable,” she says. “That’s why these pastors thrive in poverty-stricken areas, because people are desperate and if someone says God will give you a job if you let me spray you with Doom, then you’ll allow them to do it. When DRUM contacts the Poison Centre of Johannesburg Information Helpline, we are told that spraying pesticide on the skin and eyes can have grave health risks. A consultant tells DRUM that pesticide may cause irritation in the eyes as well as respiratory problems such as asthma. However, it depends on how much of the pesticide is sprayed, for how long and the chemical content in that particular bottle. South Africans who find themselves sprayed with pesticide are advised to wash their eyes and skin immediately with water and call the Poison Information Helpline at 0861 555 777.  

 

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