The South African government is ready to start a serious conversation with faith-based organisations on bogus religious leaders taking advantage of vulnerable citizens in the country, ruling African National Congress Party President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.
Ramaphosa, on the campaign trail ahead of the 8 May elections at a Cape Town City Hall event on Wednesday, was referring to a video clip that went viral this week which purported to show Alleluia Ministries International leader, Pastor Alph Lukau, raising a man from the ''dead" in his coffin during a Sunday service.
A pastor asked Ramaphosa why charlatans were not being arrested as they were harming the reputation of all clergy by taking advantage of desperate and vulnerable South Africans who actually believe in the fake “miracles” performed by the so-called religious men.
The ANC president said the matter had come up for discussion in government, which would engage with religious leaders instead of dictating regulations.
"If we just go overboard and start regulating churches and religions, we will have a backlash because faith-based organisations will say the government is beginning to regulate in such a way that is not constitutional," Ramaphosa said.
He added: “We are now given an opportunity to engage faith-based organisations on how can we work together to ensure (that) we rid our country of bogus religious leaders who are taking our people for a ride, who are doing things that are so shocking and hoodwink people into believing they raised someone from the dead..."