By Blessing Mabunda
The local prophet who infamously shot to fame through social media when he allegedly accused a fellow villager of witchcraft has been arrested.
The man of cloth, Hennie Gift Chabalala (27) whose controversial story appeared on Giyani View’s front page, has been nabbed dramatically on Monday afternoon (14th August) during his live radio interview at Giyani Community Radio Station, (GCR) studios.
Giyani View has learned that a case against Chabalala, originally from Siyandhani village, was opened in July this year following his prophecy on his Facebook page that Hleketani Xiseke, a girl from Siyadhani village in Giyani, has been bewitched by her mother following her death that spawned pains in the family!
Chabalala had allegedly deleted the post after his parents received numerous life-threatening messages.
Giyani police spokesperson Captain, Magezi Khosa said he learned about the case when the prophet was arrested on Monday.
On the post, which has since been erased, Chabalala had claimed God showed him Hleketani’s miserable life as a zombie kept in a secret room owned by her mother.
During our interview last week, Chabalala claimed he withdrew his prophecy when his mother had received an SMS that threatened to kill her.
“God has spoken to me about how Xiseke is being kept in a secret room, and for me to withdraw the prophecy, it doesn’t mean that the prophecy was wrong, but it was to bring peace in the village.
“I still maintain that Xiseke’s mother killed her daughter for business rituals,” he said then.
Chabalala had further claimed that on the 30th of July 2017, he had planned a resurrection cruised for Xiseke which has been called off.
A member in his church said Chabalala was definitely going to perform a miracle on the 30th. “He had to cancel it after the police came looking for him.”
Last week Captain Khosa said there had never been a case opened against the prophet.
“Police intervened to calm the situation, and it’s unfortunate that on the day when police went to see the prophet, he was nowhere to be found,” said Khosa.
Before his arrest, Chabalala had refuted claims that he had run away. “It was surprising to hear that I ran from home, after police came looking for me. I’m in Pretoria most of the time,” he said.
The community was torn apart, with some believing the prophecy, while others argued Facebook was the wrong platform.
Ward 07 councillor, Fumani Mkoveni also condemned the manner in which Chabalala prophesied.
“This kind of Prophecy should have been directed to the parties concerned, not to the public.”
Chabalala claimed he tried to contact the Xiseke family “and they ignored me when I had to deliver the message. It’s the reason I posted on Facebook”.
It is alleged that Chabalala had posted another message on his Facebook account apologising for his “fake” prophecy to the family.
Chabalala who claimed to be the ‘True Sharp Shooter, aka Major Spaghetti’ faced a number of criticisms from his former school mates who questioned his status in Christ.
He was allegedly caught smoking marijuana last year in one of the Country Lodges in Giyani while in the church ministry.
“I seriously doubt his status in Christ. He is a womanizer and I believe he is just a fake,” alleged the source.
Chabalala had defended his calling. “There are those who still don’t believe that I’m called. And I didn’t call myself, but God called me. The Bible says Jesus Christ came unto his own, and his own received him not. Yes, I can’t deny that I used to smoke, drink and have multiple partners but since pastor Alfa Lekau of International Ministries in Sandton encouraged me to get married, I no longer suffer such demons.”
When Chabalala was asked about his ministry’s foundation, Liberty PHD Centre, he claimed Pastor Lesego Daniel prophesied that God had called him.
“In 2012, I went to Malawi and my spiritual father Prophet Sheppard Bushiri, Major One, prophesied to me that indeed God has called me, but for me to operate I must submit under him”, Chabalala said.
Chabalala will make a brief appearence in the Giyani magistrate court today.