Pastor who fed his congregation live snakes to face court

Pastor Mguni is seen holding a snake that he then feeds to his congregants.Facebook

A South African pastor who allegedly fed his congregation live snakes to test their faith has been arrested and released on bail.

Photos were posted by End Times Ministries on social media on July 15 showing 'Prophet' Penuel Mnguni dropping a live snake into the mouths of his congregants.

The caption read: "Those with small faith eats only vegetables but the ones with a great faith eats everything. During service Man of God commanded a snake to change into a chocolate and it obeyed. People ate it and enjoyed it. To God Be The Glory!"

According to Nigerian website NairaBrains, the pastor – whose church meets in Soshanguve, Pretoria – was arrested and is likely to appear in court today over charges of animal cruelty.

African Spotlight reported on Saturday that Mnguni was being investigated by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty against Animals (SPCA).

SPCA inspector Mishack Matlou confirmed: "We are conducting a preliminary inquiry with an intention of opening a criminal case against him. What we saw in the pictures is cruel. Imagine being eaten alive! This has to stop."

Mnguni defended his actions, however, telling inspectors: "I don't keep reptiles in my house or church. I catch them when I need them. God gave me the power to turn them into chocolate."

It is not the first time that Mnguni and his church have courted controversy. In May, End Times Ministries made the headlines after photos were posted of congregants stripping their clothes off during a service and lying down while the pastor stood on them.

Mnguni apparently told those gathered: "God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden with no clothes on, and because they had faith in the Lord, they didn't even know they were undressed".

A caption on one of the photos apparently suggested that those being trod on could feel no pain, which was a demonstration of God's power.

Last week, more photos emerged of church members taking their clothes off and of congregants eating a woman's hairpiece.

"Man of God held the braid of woman at Church and people ate. Its taste was more than a Cake. To God be the Glory," the caption read.