EFF denies burning 'snake pastor' tent

2015-08-10 13:00
A congregant is fed a snake at the church in Soshanguve. (Facebook)

A congregant is fed a snake at the church in Soshanguve. (Facebook)

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Pretoria - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has denied torching the church tent of controversial Pastor Penuel Mnguni.

Instead, it has passed the blame on to the community.

The tent was burnt down on Sunday in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

According to the EFF, the community was fed up with Mnguni who apparently makes his congregation eat rats and snakes.

EFF Gauteng spokesperson Ntobeng Ntobeng told News24 that while the party led the march, they did not burn down the tent.

''The community said, 'We are not leaving the tent behind. The tent must go,'' said Ntobeng.

Ntobeng said the party was called in to help frustrated Soshanguve residents decide what to do about the pastor, whom they consider ''demonic and unethical''.

A ‘coward, a fake, an entrepreneur and a thug'

Their main complaints against him are that he plays his music loud - day and night - and gets people to eat rats and snakes.

''He also jumps on women, and this is Women's Month,'' said Ntobeng, referring to video footage of the pastor's services which show women lying on the ground and the pastor and congregants jumping on them.

Ntobeng said they marched to the ''church'' and found about 50 people waiting, but the pastor was nowhere to be seen.

''When we got there, we found the priest had been taken away, he had made a run for it,'' he said.

Instead, the crowd turned to the pastor's deputy, and tried to get him to eat mice they had brought along, after the pastor's claims that he could turn rats into chocolate.

''We said, 'Here's mice, surely it would taste like chocolate'. This guy ran and left the congregation behind.''

Ntobeng branded the pastor a ''coward, a fake, an entrepreneur and a thug''.

''He is taking people for a ride and we cannot let that happen, and we wanted to put a stop it.''

Public violence

After the pastor and his deputy fled, the crowd burnt down the tent which was pitched in his back yard.

Film footage by ANN7 showed people, some in EFF clothing, toyi-toying and pulling the tent down. Eventually it was reduced to a smouldering heap in the road.

Ntobeng claimed this was in full view of police, whom he said understood why the community was angry.

Nobody was injured and the house itself was not burnt down.

''He has been chased away from Mpumalanga, and we chased him away yesterday.''

The EFF's next stop is to find out who owns the house he is operating from.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said police only arrived after the tent had been torched and a case of public violence was opened.

Nobody had been arrested by mid morning on Monday.

The pastor himself did not want to open a case with the police, said Dlamini.

Attempts to get comment from the pastor drew a blank.

When News24 contacted a number on one of Mnguni's flyers, the woman who answered said he did not use a telephone and was only available on a gmail address.  

A request for comment sent to the pastor bounced back as undeliverable.

The woman said she did not think they had a central office and, when asked for her name, insisted it was ''End Times Disciple", which she said also appeared on her Identity Document.

''Let me answer another call. I think we are done. God bless you. Thanks for calling,'' she said, before ringing off.

Read more on:    eff  |  pretoria

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