PROPHET Paseka Motsoeneng, also known as Prophet Mboro, gave his congregants an ultimatum: help pay for his legal fees and give him a nice birthday present, or he will suspend his services for nine weeks.
Mboro wants to take on the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), which plans to regulate the religious sector.
Speaking at the Incredible Happenings Church in Katlehong today, Mboro said he would suspend his services, including his TV show and radio station, from next week if people failed to pay his legal fees and present him with a birthday gift amounting to R4 900.
He turned 49 on April 8.
He said those he had helped over the past 34 years should help pay for the expensive costs that came with broadcasting his ministry to the masses. Mboro said he would carry on helping those who were part of his congregation “if God speaks to him”, but he will focus on those who help him.
Mboro, who sported a burgundy bow tie, a white suit with a black lapel and navy and black shoes, made no effort to hide that he had become a brand by listing his various sources of income. He referred to himself as a recording artist with several businesses. He also sells merchandise.
“I have CDs. I am an entertainer and comedian if I like,” he said, sometimes speaking about himself in the third person. He hit out at the commission, saying it did not protect him.
“The commission only cares about how much the church is making, not what we are doing for the people. People are being healed here,” Mboro shouted to applause from the crowd.
He claimed the crowd had shown up at the church when they heard on his radio station that he was quitting.
“The commission does not see the work I do. I will leave this congregation and all the work I am doing for the people if it is so wrong, and Thoko (Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, CRL chairwoman) can come and take over,” he said as congregants shouted ‘No’.
Mboro said it was time for those he had helped to testify and speak up for him in light of recent “attacks” from a body he says lacks integrity.
In a recent report by the CRL, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva slammed the commercialisation of religion, saying that belief systems were being abused and some so-called religious groupings were engaging in cult-like practices.
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva was specifically referring to “false prophets and charismatic pastors” who were bringing religion into disrepute with practices such as spraying congregants with Doom, making them eat lethal Rattex or letting them drink Dettol for healing. Mboro said the commission was trying to do something it could not understand.
“How will they regulate? Will it be with the Qur’an or the Bible? There are many religions so let us leave people to their faiths. I am being persecuted for associating with the poorest of the poor,” he said.