A member of the End Times Disciples Ministries, led by 24-year-old South African Prophet Penuel Mnguni, says he does not force them to eat snakes, “We do it on our free will,” the member not identified in news reports said.
The member said that in defence of the preacher when he was arrested outside his church last Saturday night.
He appeared before the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday July 20, 2015 and was charged with cruelty to animals. He was released on bail. The bail was set at 1000 rands.
According to the online version of the North Pretoria Rekord newspaper, Mnguni arrived at the court with a throng of followers and members of his church, many of them saying they were against his arrest.
“He does not force us to eat snakes. We do it on our free will,” said one of them.
Mnguni on his arrest also admitted to feeding his followers with live lizards and there are online photos that show him cut a lady’s hair giving it to some members to eat.
The North Pretoria Rekord reports that following the complaint to the police by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SPCA), the police made several visits to his church with a warrant to effect the arrest but he was not found, but on a tip-off that he was at the premises, the police went there and arrested him, while he was in his pajamas.
A photo of Mnguni feeding his followers live snakes went viral on social media last week drawing attention to the preacher and prompting the complaint by the SPCA.
He allegedly gave his congregation live snakes to eat, telling them it would taste like chocolate.
The court is yet to decide the next date for his appearance.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi