The commission investigating the commercialisation of religion has laid criminal charges against popular Nigerian pastor Chris Oyakhilome, self styled prophet Paseka Motsoeneng, popularly known as Prophet Mboro and his legal representative Hendrik Potgiester.
The charges were laid yesterday at the offices of the Commission for Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL commission) in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, after police were called in by the commission so they could lay the charges.
Yesterday, Prophet Mboro arrived more than two hours late for his hearing and through Pothgieter, told the committee that he would not participate any further in the hearings. This was his fifth appearance.
“The prophet does not wish to take any further part in this commission…. Any action taken in terms of section 41 of the (commission’s) act will be vigorously defended.
“Financial accountability in the environment of the church where the prophet finds himself is controlled by the Nonprofit Organisation Act 71 of 1997 where there are reporting requirements relating to its internal structures of a nonprofit organisation,” said the Prophet’s lawyer.
He said in respect of fundraising activities, religious organisations are subject to the Fundraising Act 107 of 1978.
“The focus on structures and finances therefore rightly or wrongly creates the impression of an ulterior motive,” Potgieter said.
Potgieter, Mboro and his supporters then walked out of the meeting. In his previous appearances, Prophet Mboro said his church, Incredible Happenings, was registered as a close corporation.
The commission made submissions that as the close corporation bank account was the only bank account he had, it meant money he collected in church was in that account. Mboro has refused to submit documents required by the commission.
Chairwoman Thoko Mkhwananzi-Xaluva said Potgieter and Mboro had violated section 41 of the commission’s act by walking out. She said Pastor Chris had indicated that he was going to sue the commission.
“He (pastor Chris) was supposed to come today. He did not and sent his lawyers to say he was going to court. Even if you are going to court, until there is a court decision, you come. The best thing is to come and ask for a postponement,” Mkhwananzi-Xaluva said.