pastor cheats church
A top Johannesburg pastor is at loggerheads with members of a Mpumalanga church after he allegedly made off with an estimated R500000 in a bogus investment scheme.
Pastor Jannie Ngwale allegedly convinced members of Nelspruit's Church on the Hill to part with thousands of rands, promising that within one year it would yield millions of rands.
The church has confirmed the scheme, saying "it is God's will for His children to make money".
The pastor collected about R500000.
Church members say the get-rich-quick scheme, called Boeing Investment, was introduced by Ngwane in 2006.
"At the time we were excited and never thought a man of the cloth would mislead us," said a church member.
"When I forked out R5000 I could see nothing but how I would reap a cool R1million in profit at the end of the year. But now it's been almost two years and our money has not multiplied."
Angry church members blamed church leaders for failing to question the authenticity of the scheme.
Church's spokesman Ndumiso Matlala said yesterday that there was an investment division in the church "that looked at ensuring that we don't starve".
"We came up with a plan to open a club to which members were asked to contribute money so that we could buy filling stations and shares from cellphone companies," he said.
"But when we came up with the idea we did not guarantee it would succeed."