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African preacher who fed live snakes to worshippers arrested

LIKE CHOCOLATE: Penuel Mnguni was arrested for animal cruelty

A SOUTH African Christian preacher who encouraged his congregation to eat live snakes has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after photographs of the shocking scene were posted on the church's Facebook page.

Penuel Mnguni, a preacher at End Times Disciples Ministries in the poor South African district of Soshanguve, north of Pretoria, told his followers the snakes would taste like chocolate, reported the International Business Times.

Mnguni appeared briefly in court where he was released on £75 bail pending a future court appearance, but remains unrepentant.

"I picked that snake from the bushes," said Mnguni, speaking through his spokesman Eddie Nkuna to South Africa Latest News.

"Romans 14 says a person with strong faith can eat anything. We are not scared of snakes, they are beneath us."

Mnguni - who considers himself a prophet and leads his services from a tent - said he drew on teachings by Rev Lesego Daniel of Rabboni Ministries for inspiration.

Lesego made his followers eat grass and drink petrol.

Mnguni claimed he had been persecuted for his stunts, but when doubters came to one of his services they were soon converted. He now has around 150 followers.

POWERS: Mnguni riding on the back of a
worshipper he 'turned into a horse'

"I started this ministry last year on March 26," he said.

"God revealed a vision for me to change people's lives. So far I have faced a lot of persecution from people and pastors around me.

"They say what I do is not from God but when they come to the service and listen to me preach they think otherwise."

Mnguni also posted photographs in which he "turned a parishioner into a horse" and rode on his back, and fed a girl the hair of a fellow worshipper.

"He was doing a lot of things that were unacceptable, both to his congregation and the snakes," animal rights inspector Andrew Kekana told Mail Online.

"But our jurisdiction only relates to animals, so we can only lay a charge against him for that.

"The pictures are evidence of illegal possession of indigenous protected snakes and cruelty to them."

NOT FOR THE FAINTHEARTED: Worshippers were told the live snakes would taste like chocolate

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