Resurrection saga: Cops hunt Moyo... dead or alive
Police are not keen to withdraw charges of fraud against the man who was “resurrected” by controversial pastor Alph Lukau, saying they still need proof that he’s indeed dead.
Although media reports last week indicated that the man, known locally as Brighton Moyo and as Thabiso Mlanje in Zimbabwe, has died, the police say he will remain a suspect until proof of his death is provided to them.
Moyo was reported to have died of pneumonia in Zimbabwe after being on the run from authorities for his role in the resurrection at Lukau’s Alleluia Ministries International church in February.
Police spokesperson Cpt Mavela Masondo said Moyo would remain under investigation until police received evidence of Moyo’s death and burial.
“We don’t have any evidence that he is indeed dead. We can’t make any conclusions until we have certainty about his death,” Masondo said.
Masondo said they would be working with authorities from Zimbabwe to determine Moyo’s status.
Yesterday, Nkululeko Dlamini, 35, and Silungisani Grace Sibanda, 40, appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate’s court on three counts of fraud in connection with the “resurrection”.
The pair are accused of playing a pivotal role in arranging the coffin and the hearse prior to the hoax resurrection.
Their matter was postponed until April 26 to verify Dlamini’s nationality as he was found in possession of South African and Zimbabwean passports with different names.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Lukau was not yet arrested as investigations were ongoing.
Advocate Felix Mcube, a director at Kings and Queens Funeral Services, which is also the complainant in the matter, said Sibanda approached their funeral parlour to request a hearse to move Moyo’s “body”.
“She introduced herself as Prudence Ngwenya and said she needed assistance in moving a relative’s body from another funeral parlour.
“The general manager who was on duty on the day said he stepped outside and saw a vehicle with stickers from a parlour that we usually work with and decided to help them,” Mcube said. He said Sibanda allegedly directed the driver of the hearse to an address in Yeoville where she claimed that they needed to pick up the deceased’s clothes.
“She then directed the driver to another location around Bramley where the family members who were driving in another vehicle went to collect a coffin,” he said.
“The driver was alarmed by this because the coffin was slightly ajar. That’s when he asked to see papers because this was not normal procedure.
“The relatives told him not to worry and they asked him to take the coffin to Sandton where they were greeted [by] a large crowd with cameras.”
Sean Sims, who is representing Lukau and Alleluia Ministries denied that Dlamini and Sibanda were members at the church.
“We have no record of either a Nkululeko Dlamini and/or Silungisani Sibanda being church members,” Sims said.
“We welcome the [police] investigation as such investigation will clearly demonstrate that, to the extent that there had been unlawful/wrongful conduct, that we played no part in such unlawful/wrongful conduct.”
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