Pastor Lukau, neighbours lock horns over guesthouse construction
Alleluia Ministries' Pastor Alph Lukau is at loggerheads with his Sandton neighbours over a multimillion-rand guesthouse he's currently building.
According to the Sunday Times, homeowners in the exclusive suburb of Morningside claim the residential character of Huntingdon Road-where the guesthouse is- will be destroyed by Lukau's "illegally built and imposing structures".
The Congolese pastor recently found himself embroiled in controversy after a video of him purporting to be resurrecting a man from death circulated on social media.
The resurrected man, Brighton Moyo- who is from Zimbabwe- has since gone underground, claiming to be fearing for his life.
City of Joburg allegedly confirmed that it ordered Lukau in October last year to stop further construction because he had not got approval for building two guard houses with entrances.
Spokesperson Poppy Louw said Lukau had deviated from approved building plans, which allowed him only to make additions to his existing residence.
She said Lukau had also been slapped with a contravention notice for violating the 3m building line as three newly constructed bedrooms overlapped the building line.
Lukau's lawyer confirmed that the pastor recently demolished a steel structure for which he had not submitted plans.
Construction on the guest house is said to have started about 13 months ago and was continuing despite him having been told to stop work.
According to Louw, the building plans for Lukau's proposed extension to the main house were only approved on August 4 last year and council officials conducted the first site inspection 12 days later.
She said Lukau had applied to have the three-storey residential building rezoned as a guesthouse in October. According to the rezoning application, the total floor area would be 2,156m² and would include two guard rooms and 17 parking bays.
Neighbours said the builders erected two separate entrances to a single residential property and constructed an enormous wall and two elaborate gatehouses.
Once in use, the property will host to outdoor functions, as was evident from the landscaping and rooftop entertaining areas being constructed, which will result in significant noise and potentially dangerous traffic conditions, they alleged.
They also said Lukau, who moved out of the house two years ago, had in the past hosted several functions that resulted in road closures, disruptions and congestion.
One of Lukau's neighbours said his wife and young daughter had stopped using their swimming pool because the guesthouse's newly constructed balcony directly overlooks it.
Another one said large generators had been used on numerous occasions outside Lukau's property, "flooding my house with diesel fumes".
"Building has consistently occurred late into the afternoons on Saturdays and Sundays, making it impossible for my family to enjoy their weekends or even go out into our garden," he said.
Lukau's attorney, Lucia Smyth, said building work stopped several months ago, except for "finishes and landscaping".
"All building to the roof area ceased on October 18 in compliance with the notice received on that date. There is no merit to allegations of construction taking place over weekends."