JOHANNESBURG - The infamous pastor who made his congregants drink petrol at his Rabboni Centre Ministries church in Soshanguve will give his side of the story before the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities in Braamfontein today.
He is one of the pastors who was subpoenaed by the CLR Rights Commission as it begins its investigation into church leaders taking advantage of communities.
Pastor Lesego Daniel from Garankuwa will have to explain his controversial church antics.
He had claimed that he could turn petrol into pineapple juice and proceeded to allow members to drink from a bottle that appeared to contain the flammable fuel.
Last week, he was nowhere to be found as the commission struggled to verify his address.
Video shows the first demonstrator sipping the “juice,” after which members of the congregation come forward, some dancing and moving around frantically.
The first demonstrator is then asked by the pastor how he felt, and in response he coughs before saying: “It has a lot of fumes but I don’t have any side effects.”
Daniel, holding the bottle, then gives several members a sip and asks them if it’s nice.
In August, the Commission launched an "investigative study" into the commercialisation of religion.
A the time commission chairperson, Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, said the investigation would look at the abuse of people's belief systems in terms of when these institutions are being run, how they are being run, where their funding is going, who collects the cash and what is done with the money.
The probe came after a complaint by the South African Council of Churches against some pastors who made members of their congregations eat grass, snakes and drink petrol.
Medical experts say petrol can be very harmful if swallowed or inhaled.
Symptoms can include breathing difficulty, swelling of the throat, pain, loss of vision, abdominal pain, vomiting, low blood pressure, convulsions, dizziness, and seizures.
By Slindile Xaba