Doom Pastor, Lethebo Rabalago says he will defy a court order prohibiting him from using harmful substances on his congregants
The controversial Rabalago, 24, warned that God would unleash his anger on South Africa after the high court in Polokwane, Limpopo, ruled against him this week.Speaking to the Sowetan yesterday, Rabalago, a leader of the Mount Zion General Assembly church based in Zebediela, said he had received a prophetic message from God after the court’s decision.
On Monday, the court ordered Rabalago to stop spraying Doom or any hazardous substance on people.
Rabalago said government would have to come up with a new law to stop him from performing miracles, adding that his practices go beyond spraying people with Doom.
“They’ll have to come up with a specific law. We are not shaken. We are still going to do more. If God says do, I will do. I don’t worship the government, I worship God, ” he said.
Rabalago was also ordered to pay legal costs after the Limpopo department of health took him to court in a bid to stop him from spraying congregants with the insecticide.In court papers, the department stated that his practices put people’s lives at risk.
Yesterday, MEC for health Phophi Ramathuba said the ruling was a victory for ordinary citizens who fell prey to such practices. She said she hoped the case would serve as a deterrent against more incidents involving pastors who used dangerous methods.
“What better day is there to give us such a judgment than on the eve of Human Rights Day?
“We are empowered. Let us not take advantage of the vulnerable,” she said.Ramathuba said the department was not against religion, but would fight against harmful practic es.
“Anyone who claims to have a product with curative properties must register it with the Medical Controls Council,” she said. However, Rabalago said it was the department’s case against him that was going to cause death in the country.
“Many people are going to die after this. Everything in the country is going to be affected.
“The government had disrespected God. What do we expect when we touch God? Do we expect God to just laugh?”There are leaders in government who think they are above God,” said the defiant young preacher who added he would continue to perform miracles.
Last year, Rabalago’s unconventional prayer methods caused a public stir after images of him spraying people with Doom went viral.While his followers came out in his defence, Tiger Brands, the company which owns the insecticide, was not impressed.
Yesterday, spokesman at the provincial health department Thabiso Teffo said Rabalago would be in contempt of court should he continueusing harmful substances on people.
Limpopo Ministers Fraternal president Bishop Richard Selepe issued a statement welcoming the court’s ruling.Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva of the Commission for the Promotio and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities applauded the court’s decision.
Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the case would remedy the situation in relation to one religious leader. She said the country was in need of a permanent solution in the form of legislation which will cover all religious leaders who were found to be engaging in harmful practices.