'I've been to heaven!'
Self-proclaimed prophet claims he's seen God
A MANDENI, KwaZulu-Natal, resident is drawing huge crowds to his home after claiming that he has been to heaven four times and has drawn a map of it on a wall.
The self-proclaimed prophet, 64-year-old Sibusiso Mthembu, says there are 11 heavens, each of which he has visited, with his first heavenly journey having taken place in December 1998.
Since the news spread that there was a map of heaven, locals have been flocking to Mthembu's house to see it.
A visitor who had known Mthembu for a long time said: "I don't know whether to believe this or not. I think it's about one's religion or belief. Some people are convinced that it's a true map, while others are not."
Another laughed when Sowetan asked about the map.
Mthembu claims his other three journeys took place in 2004, 2006 and the last was in 2008. On his return, he drew a map of heaven and its residents.
He claimed that on December 22 1993, a white man arrived at his home and told him that he was needed in heaven.
"An angel, whom I later realised was Gabriel, who was in his early 20s, appeared at my house and led me by the hand to the Mandeni River where he baptised me and he returned to heaven," Mthembu claimed.
Mthembu said the same angel arrived in 1998 and this time took him along to heaven.
"I was then taken to the fifth heaven, called Crista, where I met Jesus in a city called Sharomy.
"There was also Silvertus-devil's angel there," claimed Mthembu.
Mthembu said though there were 11 heavens, the main one was Salem, where God's temple was.
"Jesus is white and God is greyish in complexion. God is in his youth."
He claims he met God during his second journey in 2004.
"I met him at Jadalem, a planet mostly covered in water and ice."
During his other journeys, Mthembu claims to have seen Moses, Abel and others.
"I heard their conversations, experienced the singing and the smell.
"I explored the Marshnode City - the first place that people go to when they die and their spirits get reincarnated, Wespole City and also saw Jesus, Moses, Eliya, a prophet - not Elijah, and Abel," he claimed.
Mthembu says his journey has raised questions about his faith in God and the truth of life.
"All I can say is that I believe in the God of the universe and that no one can figure out the great truth of life until we finally unite in eternity at death," he said.
Mthembu said those people who predicted the end of the world in May last year were correct.
"Actually, what was happening on that day is that there was a big meeting in heaven, called Il-Banta to discuss the biggest war to fight Satanism," he said.
"The prophet says that God's single day is equivalent to 891 years, so May 23 was the beginning of the count-down to the end of the world."
He said he would like to see the map being printed for the whole world to see.
"People must come and see the map as one day someone from Japan or China or Britain will design a map of heaven and the people of South Africa will have forgotten that the map was originally made in South Africa."
Apart from the map of heaven, Mthembu has written several books documenting his heavenly experiences.