A South African preacher has been roundly mocked online after reportedly charging followers to view his photos of “heaven.”
Paseka Motsoeneng, a self-styled prophet, claims a track record of amazing feats.
As the leader of the Church of Incredible Happenings, he’s says he’s healed people during sermons and even once claimed to deliver a fish from the womb of a pregnant woman.
But Motsoeneng, popularly known as “Prophet Mboro”, may have gone a bit too far with his latest otherworldly boast.
A South African news site quoted a church spokesperson on 30 March saying that “the prophet did go to heaven” during an Easter church service and that while there “he took pictures” using his smartphone.
Those eager to see photographic proof of the afterlife will have to open their wallets though. Mboro has asked those who wish to view the pictures for a donation of 5,000 rand (about £240 or $340).
Although some of Mboro’s followers rushed to say that the story was satirical, that didn’t stop South Africans from ridiculing the pastor.
“If the Americans can go to the Moon why can’t Pastor Mboro go to Heaven and take pics,” tweeted one. Another commented: “Don’t forget your selfie stick when U go to heaven.”
For those unable to afford the donation, there was also plenty of humorous speculation online about what the photos might show:
But others thought the pastor’s claim was no joking matter.
“What is the government doing about Pastor Mboro?” @ThatGirlCebi wondered. Others accused the Mboro of duping his followers. “Can u please Investigate Pastor Mboro’s claim that he went to heaven and took selfies! He wants R5,000 for a pic!” one South African declared, directing a tweet at the authorities.
The pastor, reportedly a multi-millionaire who owns a fleet of luxurious cars and was once the subject of a BBC documentary, is no stranger to scrutiny over his financial affairs. In 2015, he was questioned by a public commission investigating the commercialisation of religion. He denied all wrongdoing, remained defiant, and told his supporters that he was determined to go to jail if that is was is necessary to protect his church’s image.
Mboro has not yet commented on the social media storm and BBC Trending tried to contact him, but he has not yet responded.
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