Notorious snake pastor Penuel Mnguni of the End Times Disciples Ministries is a wanted man.
Mnguni, who gained notoriety after feeding his congregants snakes, rats and weaves, is being sought by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Rights Communities (CLR).
Mnguni, who operated his church in Extension 13 in Soshanguve, Pretoria, was exposed in July for feeding his followers snakes. As weeks went by, he started feeding them rats, pieces of cloth and human hair. He also made them strip off their clothes and rode them like horses .
Angry EFF members then led a march to his church. The party’s members, however, distanced themselves from burning the church’s tent. Mnguni then moved to Ayanda Primary School hall, where community members also chased him away.
The CRL, which is conducting hearings into the abuse of religion and cultural beliefs, has issued summons for Mnguni to appear before it. But he has not been seen since the hearings started in Johannesburg on Monday.
CRL chairwoman Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said yesterday: “I want that man. He has a case to answer to. He must tell us whether it’s religiously right to make people eat snakes, rats and human hair.”
Mnguni could not be reached on his phone. Yesterday, Soshanguve residents said they had also not seen him since he was kicked out of the school. “I do not know where he operates from, but I usually see his members pass by my house. It is clear that he is still preaching,” said a source.
According to the church’s Facebook page, he holds services several times a week. He is also believed to be in GaRankuwa or operating in another province.
However, the church does not post its location. Even when alerting followers to events, location is not mentioned.
At Soshanguve yesterday, many of the people we spoke to said they did not know where he was.
A woman who said she was a member said Mnguni was at Rabboni Centre Ministry. But Sowetan could not find him there.
Back in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, Soweto-based Agape International Ministries leader Pastor Busisiwe Thebehali said when she received the summons on October 25, she was shaken.
“It was after I received the letter apologising and clarifying why I had to appear before the commission [that I obliged]. The panelists are good and they relaxed me.
“I was asked if I was happy with what was happening to religion. I am not. I cannot be happy with people being fed snakes,” she said.