Controversial Prophet Mapaseka “Pastor Mboro” Motsoeneng, could be facing up to a year in prison. This comes after the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) laid charges against him on Tuesday. The charges involved failing to comply with a summons asking Motsoeneng to present documentation for an investigation against the commercialisation of religion.
The Commission’s Chairperson, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, says that it is acting in accordance with Section 41 of the CRL’s Constitution which stipulates what should happen if a person fails to comply with the Commission’s requests.
“Anyone who commits an offence [could] be sentenced to a year [in prison], a fine or both,” she explained.
Mboro is not the only religious leader who’s been pursued by the CRL. Charges were laid by the CRL against Pastor Samuel Radebe, of the Revelation Church of God, for refusing to appear before the it during its investigation last year.
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva says the matter is now being handled by the police.
“The police have been investigating […] and our understanding is that the prosecutors have taken a decision on the matter and they will be acting on it. We will all read about it in the papers, I suspect,” she said.
Charges were also laid against Pastor Chris of the Christ Embassy Church, who decided to challenge these and has taken the matter to the High Court, where it’s currently being heard.
“I said it’s all the better if he wants the matter to be heard in the High Court. We are fine with it. We have seen about a hundred other churches that had no problem with complying,” explains Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
The Commission says that it’s also conducting an investigation alongside the University of South Africa to find out why some South Africans are so vulnerable to these kinds of churches, some of which force members of the congregation to drink petrol, eat grass and pay money for prayers.