AFTER a ‘dead’ man sat up in his coffin outside a church in South Africa on Sunday, the pastor responsible for the ‘miracle’ found himself the subject of nationwide ridicule – and could now face criminal charges.
According to this report, three funeral parlours have lodged police complaints, saying that they had been duped into participating in a stunt carried out by pastor Alph Lukau, of Alleluia International Ministries in Kramerville, Sandton.
Prince Mafu, speaking on behalf of Kings and Queens, Black Phoenix and Kingdom Blue, said the parlours were used through various forms of misrepresentation “to suit a particular outcome” and had been the victims of fraud.
Mafu said people linked to the church approached the parlours individually, buying a coffin from one, stickers from another and hiring a hearse from another.
It is with regret that the outcome of such a plot has adversely affected our reputation as service providers. We have reported the matter at Jeppe police station for further investigation.
Video showing Lukau “resurrecting” the “dead” man, named as Elliot, went viral on social media, but after it was roundly condemned as fake, the church officials attempted to explain that the pastor had simply completed a miracle that God had already begun. They said Elliot arrived alive and kicking inside the coffin at the church gate.
Church minister Busi Gaca and pastor Rochelle Kombou described how the hearse driver ran away in fear after hearing rattling noises coming from inside the coffin.
Gaca said church leaders were alerted that a hearse had just arrived at the gate when Lukau decided to go and inspect.
As soon as they got here they started hearing movement coming from the coffin. And you know [in] our culture, if a person is dead and you start hearing movement people get scared.
She said the man’s family told pastors the man had been sick and coughing but was denied treatment by a local hospital. They also claimed that he died while receiving treatment from a private doctor.
By the time the man of God [Lukau] got to him he was already breathing. I was screaming. I saw his tongue moving. It was not a resurrection miracle, we are saying the testimony was completed by the one who is chosen to do what he does.
These miracles of healing and deliverance were not an unusual sight at the church. The responsibility of the man of God is to help the testimony to come to life. The man of God completed the miracle by praying because prayer is the key.
In the video, Lukau can be seen laying his hands on the man’s stomach as he lies inside the coffin. The man, who appears to be gasping for air, then rises up with a bewildered look in his eyes as Lukau continues to “speak in tongues”.
Lukau said to loud cheers and applause:
Can you see what happened? This man died since Friday, he was in the mortuary. This is a sign that no matter what the devil’s done it is over. Devil, I told you wherever I find you I will kick you.
Following the prayer, the man was ushered into the church where he was given water. A woman could be seen feeding him his first meal as congregants sang in celebration.
Kombou said the church was not interested in responding to critics who accused them of misleading the masses as they were too busy doing God’s work.
Reacting to the incident, the Deputy Chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), Prof David Mosoma, said:
Resurrection means suspension of the laws of nature … We have discovered that there are no such things as miracles. They are made up to try to get money from the hopelessness of our people. We cannot allow our people to be abused in this way.