Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng, well known as Mboro. File picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/ANA

Johannesburg - Prophet Paseka Motsoeneng, well known as Mboro, has formally been charged by police and arrested over last weekend's incident at his church when a child died in front of congregants.

“He was charged with common assault and intimidation,” the police's Captain Lesetja Mathobela told The Star on Thursday.

Mathobela said Motsoeneng did arrive in court as ordered after his arrest. “The matter was not put up on the (court’s) roll. But he was in court.”

He said Motsoeneng was now expected to make an appearance in January.

Motsoeneng confirmed being arrested and charged. But he maintained the prosecutor accepted his representations on why he should not be prosecuted.

“I was called to SAPS Katlehong on Thursday and informed that a charge of assault was laid against me.

“At the Katlehong SAPS, I was charged and released on bail and told to appear in court. I appeared in court and made a representation to the senior public prosecutor, and he declined to prosecute me on those allegations,” he said.

A paramedic, allegedly assaulted by Motsoeneng at his Incredible Happenings church in Katlehong, opened a case with police on Sunday.

The Ekurhuleni Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS) said the female paramedic sustained a cut on her face after Motsoeneng and some of the congregants attacked her.

Paramedics were attending to an ailing child when the commotion erupted. The child was declared dead on the scene.

Reports said congregants reacted angrily because paramedics arrived late to attend to the child.

Motsoeneng has assisted the child’s mother, Nontombi Gwam, to open a culpable homicide case against the paramedic, alleging she was negligent on the scene.

He said: “This is just one of the many incidents wherein paramedics, nurses and other health practitioners have been negligent.”

Mathobela said Gwam’s case was still being investigated. She opened the case on Wednesday.

Gwam said she took her daughter, Latoya, to Motsoeneng’s church after they were turned away at the Daveyton Main Clinic on Saturday. Nurses allegedly told her the clinic had no intravenous drips.

William Ntladi, spokesperson at DEMS, on Thursday said Motsoeneng and Gwam were within their democratic right to open a case with the police.

“Let the law take its cause, so that all differences can be addressed,” Ntladi said.

“Our concern is an assault on a firefighter, who had to go to hospital. We condemn attacks on our personnel.

“We strongly believe that his assault on our member was uncalled for.

“If ever there were complaints from him, there are means within the emergency services and council to lodge complaints, and they can be addressed accordingly.”

Ntladi said several DEMS members had faced attacks when out on duty this year. One was recently stabbed and robbed at the Somalia informal community.

At Moleleki, firefighters were attacked and their fire engine was torched. “Firefighters had to run for their lives,” said Ntladi.

Motsoeneng has denied that the paramedic was attacked at his church.

“If she was assaulted, she wouldn't have walked. There were thousands of people there and they would have broken every bone,” he said.

Motsoeneng lashed out at Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, chair of the CRL Commission, for saying churches were not hospitals.

She said it was not for religious leaders to encourage extremely ill people to come to church.

Said Motsoeneng: “Everybody knows that the church is not a hospital, so I wonder what the point of that statement was.”

Latoya will be buried in the Western Cape this weekend.

The Star