ALI MPHAKI

IT’S a case that has the police scratching their heads, and the clergy equally bemused.

Whereas the cops can approach the National Prosecuting Authority for legal guidance, the men of the cloth might need some divine intervention to unravel the case before them.

The issue involves R120 000 donated to the Alleluia Ministries by an unemployed woman as part of her “first fruit sacrifice”. Now Trish Hosia, of Berea, is demanding her money back and says the pledge, paid from a pension payout, was made in error. “I am unemployed and facing eviction. I would appreciate if you could give me back the money. I am in a financial crisis,” she says in a letter to church head Alf Lukau, a popular Congolese pastor operating in South Africa.

Police spokesman Warrant Officer Moses Maphakela said the woman had opened a “fraud” case against Lukau at the Sandringham police station. However, as Hosia had voluntarily donated the money, the matter was a civil and not a criminal issue.

The church, on the other hand, was unrepentant.

“First fruit or donations received by the church are in general, non-refundable… Nevertheless, the church will be glad to have a meeting with Trish Hosia and find a solution on this matter,” Lukau said.