Celeste Lukau, the wife of flamboyant pastor Alph Lukau, has likened her husband to Jesus, saying he has been crucified for helping heal others.
She said the couple’s five children had been mocked and traumatised at school after an embarrassing fake resurrection scandal in February. The “hatred and judgment” from people was very painful for them, she said.
“The kids were crying, asking what we’ve done that led to this … their father had to sit them down one by one and explain. Jesus was crucified for doing the best things; we are suffering the same.”
Breaking her silence for the first time since the incident, Celeste said she stood by her husband despite allegations that he was a womaniser who slept with young congregants of their church, Alleluia Ministries International.
In March, the pastor raised Elliot Moyo “from the dead”. He claimed Moyo’s body had been sent to the church by the man’s family after he was said to have died a few days earlier.
A video of the resurrection went viral on social media, with many claiming it was clearly a sham and that Moyo’s acting skills left much to be desired.
There were calls for the church to be closed. Moyo disappeared after the “resurrection”. Last month his family in Zimbabwe said he had died from suspected food poisoning after returning home. Lukau has declined interviews, but this week his wife defended him.
“Regarding the resurrection incident, we are in talks with our lawyers. It was reported negatively by people who never understood what was happening. I can’t talk about that now. It’s been a hard time for the family and the kids at school as they were mocked by others. They would come home crying and ask us what was happening and we had to explain to them,” she said. She would not give the ages of her children.
Celeste, who runs the administration of the church from its Sandton headquarters, said the “hatred and judgment” by the people had been “very painful” for the family. She also denied that her husband was a womaniser.
“I really sleep [well] at night. I am not worried about anything my husband is accused of doing. I trust my husband. He’s the best person and a good father to the children and the family. When these things happen, I believe him when he says they are not true.”
She said that while attacks on social media had left the family emotional, the support they had received from their “million congregations” around the world had made them stronger.
‘HARD TO EXPLAIN THE TRUTH’
“We are where we are today because of the support we got from all the people in the country and abroad,” she said.
She said it was “hard to explain” the truth about the “resurrection” but insisted her husband was not a scamster.
“He’s not a fake prophet, not at all. There are between 17,000 to 20,000 people who come to our church every Sunday to worship. Many people have testified about my husband’s prophecies and healing gift. Yes, the resurrection happened and people have spoken out about this, calling us unpleasant names. But my husband is not shaken. He’s been praying hard, he’s a person who always looks at the positive side of things.”
She said the family were “in talks with our lawyers” to see if they could take action against those who had spread rumours that her husband was a false prophet because this “nearly damaged his reputation”.
Celeste was born in Namibia and came to SA at a young age. She met Lukau at one of the church home cells in 2000. They married two years later.
“We grew the church to what it is today. We’ve been praying for people, and people got helped by us and hence we have this number of followers today.”
She said the church had 13 branches in Gauteng and others across the country, as well as members in the UK and France.
– Sunday Times