South African "Snake Pastor" To Be Probed By Religious Rights Group
A religious rights group will investigate the practices at End Times Ministries in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, led by "Prophet" Penuel Mnguni, it was announced on Tuesday.
The announcement was made after the religious community last week condemned Mnguni, who convinced his congregants to eat live snakes and rats after reportedly telling them they would taste like chocolate.
"We will by next week formally launch an investigative study that aims to unpack this phenomenon and also address all the concerns and complaints about this matter and other related practices," said Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities.
The commission also slammed Mnguni's controversial practices.
"Equally, we also condemn the burning down of a place of worship as we believe other ways could have been found to express disapproval."
The church's tent was burnt down on Sunday in Soshanguve after a march led by the Economic Freedom Fighters.
The political party denied burning the tent, saying it was the community that was fed up with Mnguni.
EFF Gauteng spokesperson Ntobeng Ntobeng said the party was called in to help frustrated Soshanguve residents decide what to do about the pastor, whom they considered ''demonic and unethical''.
Film footage by ANN7 showed people, some in EFF clothing, toyi-toying and pulling the tent down. It was eventually reduced to a smouldering heap in the road.
Ntobeng claimed this was in full view of police, who he said understood why the community was angry.
Mnguni was not at the scene. A case of public violence has been opened with the police.