President Cyril Ramaphosa says while the government does not want to regulate churches and religions, a conversation must be had about bogus pastors.
Ramaphosa, who was at the Cape Town City Hall on Wednesday evening as part of the ANC's election campaign, was referring to the video of pastor Alph Lukau of Alleluia International Ministries church performing the "resurrection" of a man who reportedly died on Friday after an illness.
The video has since gone viral on social media.
Ramaphosa was asked by a pastor who was part of the audience why police haven't arrested bogus pastors who take advantage of desperate South Africans. The pastor suggested that such acts harmed the reputation of all clergy.
Ramaphosa, in response, first joked: "I think the pastor has watched too much television and saw how someone was raised from the dead."
Jokes aside, Ramaphosa said as South Africans, "We are concerned about this trend that is evolving in our country where pastors or religious leaders of questionable practices have surged to the fore and have started doing things that appear like they are taking advantage of our people."
Mboro vs Lukau
"One way of looking at it is that our people need to be aware of the bad intentions of some of these people [pastors]," said Ramaphosa.
The president said it was time to find solutions in conjunction with religious leaders of the country, "because if we [government] just go overboard and start regulating churches and religions, we will have a backlash because faith-based organisations will say government is starting to regulate us".
"We do not want to interfere with people's religious beliefs, but we should have a conversation about how we deal with these bogus pastors," added Ramaphosa.
Meanwhile, the man who calls himself Prophet Mboro announced on Thursday that he would confront pastor Lukau for "bringing Christianity into disrepute".
In a statement, Mboro said: "No bona fide religious leader, in his right sense of mind and driven by the spirit of our Creator, can attempt to pull such an antic for the sake of quick fame and cameras."
SOURCE: news 24