National 20.3.2017 03:47 pm

‘Prophet of Doom’ barred from using insect killer on churchgoers

Controversial pastor Lethebo Rabalago, of the Mount Zion General Assembly, can longer use Doom on his congregants for religious healing.

The Limpopo High Court in Polokwane has cracked down on Limpopo’s “Prophet of Doom”.

The court has forbidden Limpopo Pastor Lethabo Rabalago from using insecticide and other hazardous substances on sick congregants of his Mount Zion General Assembly Church.

The court said this practice could be dangerous or even fatal for those subjected to it.

This is after Limpopo MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba made an urgent court application in November last year seeking to curb the infamous pastor’s use of
dubious healing methods on his followers.

Rabalago is among many pastors who have fed snakes, rats, petrol and grass to congregants.

“We welcome the Limpopo High Court ruling, which prohibits the pastor from using Doom, an insect repellent, on his congregants during the healing process,” said Ramathuba yesterday.

“We believe this will be a lesson for many pastors who still use unusual practices on the poor and vulnerable.”

The department intended to run health education programmes to create awareness about some of the wayward practices used by some pastors and the effect of these, he added, minutes after Judge George Phatudi passed the verdict.

The Limpopo Ministers Fraternal said the ruling was a step into the right direction.

“In the past year, we have learnt with shock about this level of religious extremism after congregants were forced to eat grass, leaves, mice, ink, petrol, Dettol and, lately, Doom,” said Limpopo Ministers Fraternal president Bishop Blessing Selepe
yesterday.

“We trust this verdict is the beginning of greater things for our country in which our people will not be taken for granted.”

Selepe added that it was high time that the department of health heeded their plea to create a system making religious leaders accountable for such actions.

Rabalago shot to infamy after photos of him spraying his flock with Doom in a bid to heal them went viral on social media.

The 24-year old pastor from Moletlane village, outside Lebowakgomo, in the Sekhukhune region, insisted he was acting in accordance with his faith, which permits use of harmful substances to cure ailments.

Rabalago claimed he did not see anything wrong with what he had done because “God used anything to heal the sick” and that Doom was no exception.

But Tiger Brands, the makers of Doom, said the use of Doom in these circumstances was unsafe.

The pastor and a sizable number of his congregants claim he is a son of  God who also has the power to heal HIV and Aids, irregular menstrual cycles, epilepsy and ulcers.

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