‘Doom Pastor’ who sprayed congregants with insecticide found guilty
A self-styled South African prophet who sprayed his followers with the insecticide, Doom, has been found guilty of assault, the local media has reported.
Lethebo Rabalago, widely known as the Doom Pastor, was also found guilty of contravening the Agricultural Stock Remedies Act, a court ruling said.
Rabalago claims the insect repellent he used in 2016 could heal cancer and HIV.
A sentence is yet to be handed down after the verdict by Mookgopong Magistrates Court in Limpopo province.
On Friday, magistrate Frans Mahodi told the court the state had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the five people who laid assault charges were violated, South Africa’s national broadcaster SABC reported.
The magistrate said the fact that the complainants “were sprayed on their faces with Doom makes this offence [the] worst of its kind”.
He also revealed some of them had suffered “detrimental side effects… like coughing for more than seven months” after the incident.
Rabalago – who run the Mount Zion General Assembly – was arrested after it emerged he had used the product to “cure” his followers of various ailments in 2016.
In photos circulating on social media, he was seen spraying the insecticide directly into the eyes and various body parts of his congregants.
Rabalago’s case had been delayed on a number of occasions, most recently when his lawyer forgot his glasses.
South Africa has seen a wave of incidents where church members have been subjected to unorthodox rituals which purportedly healed them of various ailments.