CRL Commission hears about church leaders going to West Africa to get supernatural powers

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The CRL Commission has heard that some church leaders go to West Africa to get initiated in order to get supernatural powers. Apostle Makhado Ramabulana has told the Commission that he also did this and has now turned his back on the secret society that he was a part of. He has written two books exposing what he calls the occult.

Ramabulana has given testimony during hearings on the Rivers of Living Waters Church, and its leader Archbishop Stephen Zondo. He was called in to explain a number of practices and phenomena that form part of allegations against Zondo.

“So when I came back, I came with the head of a pig that was meant to attract crowds, because part of this occult power is to attract crowds.”

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Ramabulana says he was taken to Nigeria for his initiation. He came back with the head of a pig, which he buried at his church. He also came back with a horn.

Ramabulana says as soon as he did this, his church in Soshanguve thrived. He spoke about his experience in the DRC, where he was introduced to the occult god.

“They told me they are going to call their god this thing came at extreme speed, it came and held me I could sense that it was big and the claws and the hands were not of a human being. It baptised me and gave me something like an egg, I had to swallow it with the shell then the man did some incantations and it went away.”

Ramabulana is one of the witnesses that were called in on Monday to give context to allegations that were levelled against the Rivers of Living Waters Church, and its leader Archbishop Stephen Zondo. The CRL Commission is holding hearings on Zondo and his church following allegations of rape, murder and witchcraft.

Ramabulana has written two books on the occult world. Ramabulana was not the only one testifying at the commission. Another witness, Jay Israel says he was also initiated in a different secret society and had a thriving church in East London. He was initiated in Benin, which he says is well-known for the occult and that is where he was introduced to a god called atovi.

“We got into the room they say kneel down take your clothes off they gave me the words to speak and they said this is communication with your god, then they said it’s done, we are going to give you a horn, which you are going to take to your country. It was a big horn, I kept it in my bag for some time.”

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Israel says before preaching a sermon he had to make a sacrifice of either a pigeon or a chicken to this horn. He says sometimes he had to do this five times a day and as a result chicken traders got to know him. He tried to buy from other people so as not to raise suspicion but he ran out of options.

Both Israel and Ramabulana have turned their back on the occult. Ramabulana has long left the practice and is now a minister at the Faith Mission Church in Sebokeng. Israel says he is still going through a healing process. The Commission wanted to know what congregants should look out for in their churches and Israel said the emphasis on money is the biggest giveaway.

“They will tell you bring your husband’s clothes so that we can use them to make sure he loves you, bring rings that come with stones, red, blue, white, there are necklaces with big crosses. They put the cross in the pocket, there is a sign of victory where they put two hands like this.”

Israel says he was one of the right-hand men of Hallelujah Ministry’s Alf Lukau. He says he was also involved in managing the fallout that came from the hoax resurrection miracle last year. He says the actor, Elliot, had proven his worth when he had previously acted like he was healed.

He was then called back to perform the resurrection miracle. Israel says authorities need to further investigate news of Elliot’s death.

CRL Commission Hearings: