A controversial South African pastor who recently sought deliverance for feeding live snakes to congregants has retracted his confession to a popular preacher, claiming he was forced to speak against his bizarre practice.
On June 4, Penuel Mgnuni of the End Times Ministries in Soshanguve, South Africa appeared at the service of Prophet T.B. Joshua's Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN) in Nigeria and explained why he fed live snakes to his congregants.
The South African pastor said that he thought that the practice was scriptural at the time, but he came to realize that he had misinterpreted the Bible after watching Joshua on TV.
Mnguni, who became controversial in 2015 for feeding live snakes, rats, underwear and hair to his church members, said that he came to Nigeria to seek deliverance from Joshua.
However, after arriving back in South Africa, the controversial pastor retracted his confession, claiming he only confessed because he feared for his own safety in Nigeria.
"I never knew that I was going to be forced to speak in front of people," Mnguni said, according to The Daily Post.
"Those people took my ID and passport and would not give them back until I did what they wanted me to do. I went there on an invite and I only wanted to take part in worshipping, not deliverance," he added.
The pastor claimed that a woman beside him dictated the words that he said during the service.
"It was as if everything was planned before I even got there. If you listen to the video, I am not the one saying those words. There is a woman next to me who is forcefully telling me what to say," Mnguni stated.
Mnguni contended that he is still the "snake pastor," and he insisted that God is using him to continue his bizarre practices.
Joshua, one of Nigeria's most popular pastors, is also seen as a controversial figure. He has faced several legal battles in court after a guesthouse owned by SCOAN collapsed in 2014, killing at least 115 people who were mostly South Africans.
He had also hosted miraculous healing events, claiming to make blind people see and deaf people hear again.
The Nigerian pastor, who was estimated to be worth between $10–15 million by Forbes in 2011, wrongly predicted that a woman would win the 2016 U.S. presidential election.