Pastor Alph Lukau of Alleluia Ministry raised eyebrows when he “resurrected” a man during one of his church services on Sunday.
While some, including many congregants of Lukau’s ministry, believed his “miracle performance”, Johan Rousseau of the Funeral Industry Reformed Association (Fira) is not sold.
Rousseau, whose experience in the funeral industry spans more than 30 years, said it was rather obvious that the man had not been dead in the first place.
Speaking to TimesLIVE, Rousseau said people need to know the basics so that they are not scammed.
Here’s how to tell whether a person in a coffin is alive.
Rousseau said the first tell-tale sign that Lukau and his “deceased” were fooling people was that the “deceased” mouth was open. He said that when a person dies, their mouth is surgically closed to ensure it doesn’t open and their jaws remain intact.
Upper thigh/neck operation
A vein usually found either around the upper thigh, neck or the area near the groin is operated on, for blood and body fluid extraction. This is done to dehydrate the body of the deceased and to keep the body from decomposing. The vein would be easily visible on the body.
A deceased becomes discoloured as a result of temperature, blood flow and moisture in a morgue. The skin usually becomes a grey colour, depending on the amount of time spent in a refrigeration unit.
Embalming is the procedure in which the body is cut open to remove the insides and sewn back. Because of this it is impossible for a dead person to move their upper body, let alone be as flexible as Lukau’s “deceased”.
This is due to the absence of moisture in the body.
African rituals, gloves and opening of the coffin
Rousseau said different families practice rituals on their deceased, which include wrapping up the deceased in a torn cloth so they reunite with their ancestors.
The deceased also never wear gloves.
The coffin is always closed, in and out of the hearse. With the Lukau incident, the coffin was open.
Bonanza tip: The deceased was also spotted with a phone in his pocket. Random, no?