Alleluia Ministries International’s resident cameraman has had to go into hiding due to receiving a barrage of threats after incorrectly being identified on social media as the man in the coffin, which The Citizen reported on this week.
The man in the coffin has since been identified as Brighton Moyo, a timber worker from Pretoria.
The Citizen is in possession of the name of Alleluia Ministries International’s resident cameraman and has confirmed that he is not the same man who appeared in the coffin.
The initial erroneous comparison between the two men was made by various social media users, who believed the men looked so similar that they had to be one and the same person.
Since being confused with the man in the coffin, the cameraman, together with Pastor Alph Lukau, have received numerous threatening messages particularly on social media, some of them even being xenophobic.
The Citizen has been advised by the church’s lawyers that the cameraman cannot even leave his home, as “any appearance in public is met with scorn, ridicule and threats of violence”.
Pastor Lukau has received major backlash about the service, due to, among other things, the allegation that he knew and had worked with the man in the coffin prior to Sunday, 24 February 2019 (which the church has rejected as completely untrue). The service was streamed live on YouTube.
The church’s lawyers have pointed out that the “serious and unintended consequences as a result of the incorrect identification in this matter emphasises the power of social media and media in general and highlights the importance of responsible reporting and use of social media”.