Family members of a Zimbabwean man who appeared to have been raised from the dead at a Joburg church in February have revealed that he has died in mysterious and painful circumstances.
Close relatives of Elliot Brighton Moyo suspect food poisoning after he bled from the noise and mouth before his death.
Moyo came to notoriety when he first died two months ago before claims surfaced that prominent pastor Alph Lukau had successfully brought him back to life at his Sandton Alleluia Ministries International Church in front of churchgoers. Lukau has since denied this version when he said Moyo was ferried to church alive.
The real death happened on April 3, and Moyo, real name Thabiso Proud Mlanje, was buried in Dandanda village.
Thabiso’s brother, Stanley Mlanje, told Zimbabwe’s B-Metro tabloid that it was his brother who appeared in the resurrection stunt with Lukau.
He said Thabiso had arrived in Zimbabwe too ill to talk.
“I had so many questions to ask him about that whole resurrection thing but I couldn’t because when I talked to him he was not so well, so I thought I would ask him when he gets better,” said Mlanje.
Moyo was reported to have died a painful death at his father-in-law’s home in Zimbabwe. According to his grandmother, Emily Moyo, who also spoke to the B-Metro tabloid, Moyo was vomiting blood at the time of his death.
“I wish someone could explain to me what was happening in South Africa because I hear he was once dead for three days and was resurrected by a pastor,” she said.
His former boss, Vincent Amoretti, of Vincent Amoretti Timber and Construction, said he hoped it was all a bad joke.
“I hope he is alive and that all of this is rubbish. I see how people are used by the churches, and it is heartbreaking. There are so many terrible people around and the authorities do nothing.”
Moyo worked for the company for six months, and at the time of his death had not collected his wages.
Amoretti said: “From what I hear, they poisoned him. The guys at work were talking and they said his stomach was bad and he was bleeding.
"They must have poisoned him. My heart bleeds for that man. I pray for him every day."
The SAPS said they were unaware of the death and were still investigating cases of fraud opened by funeral parlours against him.
“We are searching for a suspect and cannot divulge more,” said police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele.
The Zimbabwe Mail said that after the "resurrection miracle", Moyo was so afraid of the SAPS that he would sneak out whenever his wife, Simelweyinkosi, took him to hospital.