The church, led by notorious ‘prophet’ Penuel Mnguni ,25, made headlines last month after Mnguni was shown in images and videos feeding his congregants weaves, live snakes and rodents.
Tlhoaele, a journalism student at the university, was assigned to cover the service on Sunday after opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) said they had planned to feed Mnguni the same oddities he had fed his members, Rekord North reported.
After taking videos of the congregation eating leaves from a tree outside the church, Tlhoaele was suddenly chased by keen members who attacked her to her knees for a clump of her weave to eat.
The TUT student suffered scrapings to her knees and was offered counselling by the university.
Shortly before her attack, the church went up in flames after members of the EFF and disgruntled locals set the church tent alight against the Mnguni’s practices.
Acting Gauteng EFF chairperson Mandisa Mashego said the group was angry over the things the pastor made members of his congregation do in the name of God. They insisted on him eating rats and snakes himself.
“We got hold of a rat and ensured it was dead before we marched to his church. We intended to have him eat the rat instead of having his congregation do so,” Mashego said.
When the protesters arrived, a church service was already under way.
“We then asked that the service be stopped so the pastor could eat the rat. But before we could speak to him, he ran away,” Mashego said.
The protesters’ tempers then flared, and some angry protesters took the church tent apart and set it on fire.
The pastor was nowhere to be seen afterwards, but members of the congregation were undaunted. They sang, danced, and writhed in the dust in an apparent religious delirium. Some also started eating leaves off of nearby trees and others ate toilet paper.
Mguni was arrested last and charged with animal cruelty last month after the SPCA opened a case. He was later released on R1 500 bail.
– Caxton News Service