The Johannesburg magistrate’s court has provisionally withdrawn charges against two people arrested in connection with the “resurrection hoax” at Alleluia Ministries.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that the case against Nkululeko Dlamini, 35, and Silungisani Sibanda (aka Grace Ncube), 40, had been struck off the roll.
“Charges have been provisionally withdrawn pending further investigations,” Mjonondwane said.
The pair faced fraud charges in connection with the alleged resurrection video flighted in February by pastor Alph Lukau’s Alleluia Ministries International.
In March, police said they were investigating three cases of fraud in connection with the hoax.
“One case was opened by a funeral parlour based here in Gauteng, another case was opened by people who said they were concerned citizens, and a third one was opened by pastor Mboro [Paseka Motsoeneng],” police spokesperson Captain Mavela Masondo said at the time.
Mboro had staged a protest at Lukau’s offices for “bringing Christianity into disrepute” and opened a case at the Sandton police station. Kings and Queens funeral parlour denied any knowledge of the deceased or selling the coffin to the church.
Brighton Moyo, the man falsely “brought back to life”, meanwhile died of pneumonia in his home country of Zimbabwe, TimesLIVE reported in April. There he was known as Thabiso Mlanje, 28.
Initially dubbed “Elliot” by Alleluia Ministries, he had on a previous occasion been “healed” and was able to step out of his wheelchair, a colleague of his said.
Moyo, who according to his family had been in SA since 2011, had been employed by a customised door manufacturing company before going missing after the “resurrection”. The church had denied knowing in advance that it was a “fake miracle”.
Lukau said about the outcome of the case against Dlamini and Sibanda: “Many people came to a conclusion that we staged a resurrection miracle and were hoping the accused would give evidence against us.”
He said the church had been consistent in maintaining its innocence in the matter.
“We don’t fake miracles. A lot of people decided to (wrongly) incriminate us in staging a resurrection miracle,” he said.