‘Miracle’ pastor faces fresh storm

Date: 27 Feb 2019

CONTROVERSIAL “resurrection” pastor Alph Lukau’s payment to Joburg for the exclusive use of a VIP police escort has drawn the ire of the Gauteng government, which has accused the city of auctioning service delivery to the highest bidder.

An enraged Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said her department would be engaging the city’s leadership and force them to reveal how much Lukau paid to use metro police department vehicles to escort him in his luxurious white Rolls Royce car.

A video that has gone viral shows a number of Johannesburg Metro Police motorbikes and officers escorting Lukau – the leader of Alleluia Ministries International (AMI) – who was going to the church’s main branch in Sandton. Lukau gained infamy on Sunday after publishing a video of him supposedly resurrecting a man.

The church claimed the man, whom Lukau identified as Elliot and from Zimbabwe, had died on Friday.

Yesterday, Wayne Minnaar, a spokesperson for the JMPD, confirmed that Lukau had paid the city in 2017 to use public vehicles as an escort service. Minnaar said no investigation would be done in this regard, and refused to disclose the amount Lukau paid.

In a statement, Mashaba said a JMPD policy was in place in 2017 for the public to pay for escorts, but this had since stopped.

Luyanda Mfeka, Mashaba’s spokesperson, told The Star that the mayor’s main concern was the allocation of city resources, and not the amount paid.

“The mayor never asked about the payment and it wasn’t his concern,” Mfeka said.

But MEC Nkosi-Malobane rebuked this, saying that the constitution empowered her department to act as oversight over metro police to ensure that services were delivered to the public.

“What the JMPD has done is to commercialise service delivery. No private citizen must actually be escorted unless an application was made to the SAPS to assess the person’s security profile. No assessment was done on Lukau. We will be approaching the city because we want to know how much was paid by Lukau, and what procedure was used to provide security for him,” said the MEC.

AMI’s spokesperson, Busi Gaca, insisted the miracle did happen at the church on Sunday despite senior members being extensively quoted in the media admitting that the man was alive when he arrived to meet Lukau.

Gaca said the avalanche of criticism directed at the church was akin to the biblical persecution of Jesus Christ. He bullishly asserted that the organisation would not be deterred from continuing its work.

“The media frenzy is nothing new to us – it is nothing new to the church. Jesus’s teachings were also considered as controversial in his day.

“The church has not been tarnished at all. In fact, we expect the numbers to increase at this weekend’s service. Usually, we have one overflow area. This week, we will have two,” Gaca said.

Jeppe police spokesperson Captain Sisiso Mabizela said the fraud case opened by three funeral parlours might take longer than expected to investigate.

Gaca said their legal team would only respond to the lawsuit once the church was served with papers.

By KHAYA KOKO AND CHULUMANCO MAHAMBA Khaya.koko@inl.co.za chulumanco.mahamba@inl.co.za

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