Snake pastor Penuel Mnguni remained defiant on Wednesday amid a national storm created by his latest stunt involving driving over members of his congregation.
The End Times Disciples Ministry leader, infamous for feeding congregants snakes and other small animals, posted a two-minute video aimed at the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities.
In the footage, he told the commission’s head Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva to stop acting like she did not know where he was. “I am not running away. Commission, you know my address; you have my email; you have everything,” he said on the footage posted on the church’s Facebook page.
He called the commissioner a liar, and said: “Let us not destroy the world, you are lying too much.”
Mnguni said he had previously complied with a summons by the commission. “I came and you found me… No charge,” he said.
He was responding to reports that the commission was looking for him after he posted pictures of himself driving over two people during a church conference in Mpumalanga at the weekend.
In the pictures, he drove over the two, who were lying face-down on the ground, after which he commanded them to get up. They then rejoined the other congregants.
Mnguni was also seen jumping from a speaker onto the backs of congregants, and in other pictures, walking over his “disciples” while they lay on the ground.
In reaction, Mkhwanazi-Xaluva said the man had taken advantage of and control over the bodies and minds of his people. “He is abusing them,” she said.
He had to be stopped before he went too far, said the chairwoman, who had initially struggled to get Mnguni to appear before the commission to answer regarding his practices late last year.
Mnguni quickly shot to fame last year for commanding congregants in Soshanguve, near Pretoria, to eat grass. He then moved on to snakes, ants and rats, irking a great many people, but also attracting the admiration of many more.
After complaints from communities in Soshanguve and the burning down of his tent, he disappeared, resurfacing later in Rustenburg.
He was not seen or heard of again for about six months until the past weekend’s conference.
Bushy Swafo was among those who urged him on after seeing the footage. He commented: “God is doing things through you; even if they chase you to the mountain, we will come into the caves to receive your teachings.”