Pastor Mboro - when a prophet takes the biscuit
Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng‚ popularly known as Mboro is facing criminal charges at Hillbrow police station over his reluctance to cooperate with an investigation by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL).
Mboro has been a controversial figure for years - we take a look at some of the highlights.
The Biscuit Pastor:
The Sunday World's journalists witnessed Mboro's roving hands. A 17 year-old-girl went to the pastor for healing - and he claimed that her belly was swelling because a sorceror had cast a spell on her.
So he pumped his fingers into her vagina, while ordering her to call him Mboro.
"“Mboro” she said, with a stifled cry."
And so we get to how he earned the nickname the 'Biscuit Pastor" - this woman wasn't the only one he molested.
Another woman was called to the stage. She explained that she suffered from dyspareunia - which is to say sex hurt.
One of the causes of this is vaginismus - which ironically can be caused by 'cultural or religious taboos around sex'.
How did Mboro deal with it? He put his foot on her vagina.
“There’s something breathing in her biscuit. It feels like a heartbeat,” he said.
After sprinkling holy water on his hand he rubbed her genitals, and then told her to tell him that "she would discharge her conjugal rights”.
Sonke Gender Justice laid a complaint against the pastor for sexual assault in June of that year - and he was arrested.
"The CGE rejected the complaint in August 2011 and the SAHRC acknowledged receipt of our complaint. The CGE rejected the complaint on the basis that “the CGE respects people’s religious beliefs as they are protected by the Constitution, with the understanding that those people exercised their choice to go to Pastor Motsoeneng’s church voluntarily”," Sonke said.
Later that year Mboro went for an interview at Urban Brew studios - with seven fully armed bodyguards.
Headlines' Kuli Roberts told The Sowetan that she was so scared that she could not sleep after the interview.
"I was literally shaking during the interview. I kept on thinking about him. I did not know how to address him. I kept on calling him pastor Mboro and prophet Mboro because I was scared I was going to offend him. I have done interviews but that was the scariest I have done in my life," Roberts said.
The whole thing was so intimidating that another crew member described it thus:
"People stood far away from him.
"I was praying in tongues the whole time.
"The woman who was booked to do his make-up sent someone else because she was scared of him.
"Nobody wanted to talk about him afterwards because they feared they would be bewitched. One lady went to the toilet to pray."
This isn't the last time that Mboro's bodyguards would provoke such a reaction.
Going to court
Of course it isn't true that all publicity is good publicity - and according to the Sowetan the biscuit pastor decided to go to court to try and keep the press from reporting these kinds of stories about him.
And we can all see how well that attempt at gagging the press worked.
In an update on the 2011 case, Sonke Gender Justice reported that the investigation was back on.
"However, on 23 January 2013 – one and a half years later – Sonke received correspondence informing us that they are investigating it. The SHRC also informed us that they received other complaints about Pastor Mboro. He has now been arrested and the SAPS is investigating the case. Sonke has consented to the SAHRC submitting our complaint and supporting documents with the SAPS to aid their investigation. The SAHRC has also requested that Sonke staff who watched the episodes on TV wherein Mboro sexually violated women and young girls, depose to affidavits."
The spitting incident
According to iHarare, Eugene Nampeya described an incident with Pastor Mboro and his bodyguards, in which the pastor spat in his face.
“I was sitting at a table and watching TV when he came in with eight women. I went to the toilet and when I came back, I found his bodyguard sitting at my table. Mboro came to my table to confront and humiliate me. He said I didn’t know that he was a very important person. I didn’t know who he was,” Nampeya said.
Nampeya said he tried to get away from the pastor, but the pastor just wouldn't stop following him, and spat in his face.
“He claims to be a man of God but he goes around spitting on people,” Nampeya said.
According to the report, Mike's Kitchen staff confirmed that they saw the pastor throwing tantrums.
“We were shocked by his behaviour. How can he disrespect people like that?”
Sowetan LIVE reported that in September Mboro proclaimed himself to be 'Just as talented' as Joshua, and said he would donate R10, 000 to each family that was affected when his Nigerian counterpart's church collapsed.
I feel I must contribute to these families who are left with financial burdens, he said.
”I would like to help the 70 families affected by giving each household R10 000. I just don’t know how to reach them.”
This worked out to being about R800,000 that pledged towards the families according to Drum Magazine.
In October, as the nation reeled from the killing of soccer star Senzo Meyiwa, the police were offering a R250,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer.
Times LIVE reported that Mboro added an extra R20,000 to the reward.
"This tragedy must rally all of us to prayer to use all the might at our disposal, to fight the scourge of crime. For a long time now, our communities have being under siege from criminals. We must assist the SAPS to reclaim our neighbourhoods, and do all we can in providing information that will lead to rooting out crime," he said in a statement.
Things get violent
According to Nehanda Radio, Mzwakhe Kubeka went to one of Mboro's services in June. While he was there, he heard the pastor tell his bodyguard to beat up anybody who made a noise and disturbed his service.
“Then suddenly one of his guards pulled me from the audience and took me outside. The guards took turns stomping on me. One of them bashed my head on the tyres of a truck.”
He was also pistol whipped.
“I was never noisy,” said Mzwakhe. “I was just listening to the word of God delivered by the prophet.”
According to the report, Mboro confirmed the beating but claimed it wasn't his bodyguards involved in the assault - saying it was his congregants.
Pastor Mboro attacks
Mistaken for a robber
Mboro vows to go to jail
'Pray for my biscuit'
According to the Citizen when Mboro appeared before the the CRL in September, one of his female supporters gave him R1,000 to 'pray for her biscuit'.
“I am giving him this money so that he can pray for my ‘biscuit’ (private part) in the future,” said the woman.
According to the citizen Mboro hoisted up the five R200 notes and shouted: “Thank you… I am rich.”
Armed guards needed at CR
Times LIVE reported that CRL commission chair Thoko Mkhwanazi Xaluva said the commission was forced to hire armed security after Mboro's bodyguards apparently tried to force their way into a meeting.
“Our staff had to force these men out of the building. Our staff was unarmed. We knew then that we had to hire armed security. It’s chaotic every time these people are summoned to meet with us. It’s unprecedented for our offices to have armed guards. ”
Selfies from heaven?
As Mboro's fight with the CRL heated up, reports emerged that he claimed to have taken selfies in heaven. At first, these reports were followed up by a claim that he'd lost them, but now according to The Sowetan he says the original reports were based on a fake Facebook account.
"I went to heaven? So you mean I'm dead?", he asked the paper.
He also accused the CRL's chair of using it to target churches like his.
"I'm going to open a case against people who opened the Facebook page. I will also be suing Xaluva tomorrow," said Mboro.
Charges laid against Mboro
The CRL announced charges against Mboro, over his refusal to give his financial statements to the commission according to Times LIVE.
“We have formally laid charges against Mboro. He has consistently refused to give us financial statements or three months’ bank statements. We are looking into whether his religion is commercialised.
“All we are saying is what are you doing with the money you are getting from people? Where are you keeping the money you are getting from people? Where are you keeping the money you are getting from selling water?” Xaluxa-Mkhanazi said.