A preacher in South Africa who allegedly ordered his congregation to consume live snakes has been arrested on animal cruelty charges, RDM News Wire reported. Controversy ensued after pictures of the congregation eating snakes were posted on the church's Facebook page last week.
The controversial preacher, referred to as a prophet, is Penuel Mnguni of End Times Disciples Ministries in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. Mnguni told his congregation the snakes would taste like chocolate. He is to appear in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court Monday to face animal cruelty charges brought by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals.
“We are conducting a preliminary inquiry with an intention of opening a criminal case against him (Mnguni),” said Mishack Matlou‚ a society inspector, Nehanda Radio reported. “What we saw in the pictures is cruel. Imagine being eaten alive! This has to stop.”
Mnguni was the subject of controversy in the past when he made his followers eat hair and rags, claiming God has the power to make a person eat anything and that his teachings were based on scripture. He said he learned his extreme teachings from the Rev. Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Ministries, who forced his congregation to eat grass and drink petrol.
“So far I have faced a lot of persecution from people and pastors around me," Mnguni said, South Africa Latest News reported. "They say what I do is not from God but when they come to the service and listen to me preach they think otherwise."
The End of Time Disciples Ministries has about 100 to 150 followers and is inside a small tent in a poor area. South Africa Latest News said followers come from as far as Limpopo and Botswana for Mgnuni’s “impartations.”