Controversial preacher Penuel Mnguni, the so-called ‘snake pastor’, is still being sought by the Commission for the Protection of Cultural, Linguistic, and Religious Rights of Communities (CLR).
Commission spokesperson Richard Mkholo told Rekord North this week that they were trying to find Mnguni in order to summon him to appear at a hearing.
So far nearly 40 church leaders have been summoned to appear before the commission.
The commission is investigating the commercialisation of religion and the abuse of people’s beliefs. “All pastors who fail to appear after they have been summoned could face arrest,” said Mkholo. He said the commission wanted to question Mnguni about some bizarre practices at his church, End Times Disciples Ministries.
Mnguni raised eyebrows earlier this year when it was reported that he gave his congregants snakes and rats to eat, apparently saying they would taste like chocolate.
He reportedly also made women at his congregation strip and claimed to make his congregants speak “Chinese” and “Nigerian”.
Mnguni went to ground for a while in August after the tent he used as his church was torn down and then burnt by irate community members.
This after he was arrested and charged with animal cruelty after the SPCA laid a complaint. At the time the animal rights body said feeding rodents and snakes to congregants was traumatic to children who attended his church sermons.
“We have formally launched an investigative study to unpack this phenomenon and address all the concerns and complaints about this matter and other related practices,” said Mkholo.
He said the pastor’s residential address was not known.
“He has vanished. We do not know where he is now. Last we heard he had opened another church in Mmakaunyane, but when we went there we were told he had been chased away,” said Mkholo.
Earlier this week the commission laid a charge against controversial pastor and Revelation Church of God leader Samuel Radebe after he refused to appear at the hearings.
“We will open cases against people and the police will enforce the law,” said Mkholo.
He appealed to anyone who might know Mnguni’s whereabouts to alert the commission on: 011-358-9100.
– Caxton News Service