Johannesburg – The CRL Rights Commission’s chairperson says she is taking self-confessed Pastor Paseka ‘Mboro’ Motsoeneng’s threats against her seriously.
“One thing I know about men who threaten women is that they must be taken seriously. Don’t wait until he acts on his threats. I’m being publicly attacked by a man of God,” Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said on Wednesday.
She intended increasing her security and applying for a protection order against the self-confessed Satan slayer.
The chair of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) said she was being attacked because she is a woman heading an institution in a male-dominated sector.
Two weeks ago, Mboro arrived at the CRL’s offices in a convoy of eight cars after Mkhwanazi-Xaluva failed to meet his deadline to repent, polish his shoes and apologise for “harming his reputation”.
Mboro had given her seven days to resign. Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said she had no intention of doing so, and neither did the other commissioners.
She became the object of his righteous wrath during the commission’s investigation into the questionable and sometimes exploitative practices of self-styled prophets and healers.
“[Increased security] is costing the CRL an arm and a leg. This is emotionally traumatising and the money will be coming out of the public purse – taxpayer’s money, and money that the CRL doesn’t have,” she told News24.
Self-styled prophets and healers have made headlines in recent years for making their followers eat grass, snakes, nibble on rats’ tails, or drink petrol.
‘Out of hand’
There have been cases of prophets jumping on, driving over, or spraying insecticide into the faces of their flock. Some charge exorbitant amounts of money for “consultations”. Mboro’s church, Incredible Happenings, is in Katlehong, on the East Rand.
In July, Mboro reportedly said on social media that he travelled to hell and killed Satan. He subsequently denied that he had created the post.
The commission’s report, “Commercialisation of Religion and Abuse of People’s Belief Systems”, was presented to Parliament in July.
President Jacob Zuma received the report on Tuesday and thanked the commission for its work. He said he would study it and comment in due course.
“I’m sitting here scared, thinking I may die. He has publicly threatened me. I can’t do my work if I’m perpetually afraid. Is he going to send people to come and kill me? What he is doing is totally unconstitutional,” Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said.
“It’s gotten out of hand. He can’t be given platforms to intimidate me, or incite his followers to harm me.”
Insulting to traditional belief system
Her deputy, Luka Mosoma said Mboro had attacked the CRL’s dignity and brought it into disrepute.
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said what was adding to the threat was that he wanted his congregants to think she was standing between them and Mboro’s healing powers. All she was doing was implementing legislation.
She denied claims that she said Mboro had gone to heaven and taken a selfie with Jesus. She merely afforded him an opportunity to come and explain himself, which he had not done.
She refuted claims by Mboro that she is a gobela – a teacher of traditional healers.
“He has no right to elevate me to a position that I don’t deserve. It is insulting to the traditional healing belief system.”
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva denied Mboro’s claims that she was in love with him. This had confused her family and in-laws. It was an insult to her moral fibre and she had been married to her husband for over 30 years.
She explained that Pastor Chris Oyakhilome was still in breach of the CRL Act. The commission had suspended legal action against him pending a court ruling to determine if a section of the CRL Act invoked against him was constitutional.
Mboro had brought an urgent application to interdict the commission from opening a case against him for not complying with a section of the CRL Act, after he failed to provide the commission with his church’s financial and bank statements.
The case was set to be heard on August 10, but his lawyers withdraw the matter and paid the CRL’s legal costs.
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