A South African woman, Margaret Hlatshwayo, has revealed how the senior pastor of Enlightened Christian Gathering Church, ECG, in South Africa, Shepherd Bushiri, paid her to lie about miracles.
The 38-year-old woman recently narrated to Daily Sun, one of the country’s daily papers, claiming that the self-acclaimed man of God pays an equivalent of about K30 thousand a week to a team of actors to stage being healed.
Margaret said, “My conscience has been pricking me for about 3 months now and I am terrified that God might punish me.
“I was told I could get a job at a church in Pretoria and would be paid R500 the same day. I didn’t know what kind of job it was. I was told I must act in a holy way and pretend I was healed. I had to testify to living a horrible life before.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong but I couldn’t resist the R500 money promised. This is because I needed the money to feed my 3 children and I couldn’t turn down the offer so I did what they told me.
“And that was how I began. I lied to people and agreed to everything the pastor asked me. I said I was unemployed but I had recently got a job through God’s power after the pastor prayed for me. I have not had a job for the past 4 years.
“My only job was telling lies recently at church in Pretoria Showground.
“Later, the church stopped paying me on time because it now has a lot of people lying and giving false testimonies for the prophet and then at the end, there is not enough money to pay all of us.
“The pastor kept promising he will pay me. Sometimes, he gives me R300 and at times nothing at all. I am so ashamed.”
An unnamed leader of the church, when interviewed by the newspaper, said he did not know Margaret.
He denied that the church board or senior pastor paid people to testify.
He said, “If you want to speak with Shepherd Bushiri for information, you need to make an appointment to come to the office or church service to see how the man of God is changing lives.
“I don’t know you and I am not prepared to talk to you any longer.”