Two women arrested for fraud in connection with the “resurrection” of a man by Alleluia Ministries International’s Pastor Alph Lukau are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane told News24 further details of the case will only be made available during the women’s anticipated bail application on Wednesday.
The Alleluia Ministries International church made headlines when a clip of a man supposedly being resurrected made the rounds.
In the clip in February, a man lying in a coffin for an apparent open viewing, rises at Lukau’s prayers, looking surprised, with his arms dangling in front of him.
He is later seen eating a plate of food in his “burial suit”.
The “miracle” spawned a rash of memes and a “RessurectionChallenge” on Twitter, but at the same time, three funeral parlours were annoyed that they were apparently dragged into it.
Lukau also distanced himself from the resurrection claim, telling Gauteng broadcaster PowerFM‘s Power Drive host Thabiso Tema that he was busy with a sermon when he was interrupted and told that a person in a coffin had been brought to the church.
“Before entering the premises of the church, the coffin began to shake, meaning the person was alive,” Lukau explained.
He said when they heard that the man in the coffin was alive, they began to pray for him, made him stand and ushered him inside the church.
The man in the clip was identified as Elliot Moyo, and although there have been reports that he returned to Zimbabwe and died of pneumonia under a different name, News24 has not been able to confirm this yet.
At the time, Zimbabwe’s consul-general to South Africa Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro told The Herald in Zimbabwe that he had not received repatriation papers prepared for the man, understood to hail from South Africa’s neighbouring country.
He said this is the usual process for a Zimbabwean citizen who dies in South Africa.
The funeral parlour Kings and Queens Real Funerals also stepped in in February to say they were told to only fetch the body of the deceased man from a residential area in Lyndhurst and transport it to the church. Kings and Queens, plus Black Phoenix and Kingdom Blue Funeral Services said they had been caught up in a ruse.
Comment was not immediately available from numerous church numbers that were dialed. In the meantime, the ministry is gearing up for the coming Easter weekend services.
– News 24