Even when the chief told him about the old grave right in the middle of the piece of land in Zinjeni Village, near Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape, the pastor didn’t hesitate. He believed the Holy Spirit would protect the church.
But now the sweet deal has gone sour. A year after the church was built, there have been reports of ghosts in the church at night.
The Pastor, identified as Ofoma Omotoso, 42, bought the site from chief Bhukhosini Dalasile of the Amaqoco clan to open his Sliding Door to Heaven Ministries.
“Villagers said the grave was of a sangoma (herbalist) who died in 1997,” Omotoso told Daily Sun. “I am a powerful man of God. I built my church hall and performed a cleansing ceremony to tell the sangoma’s spirit to voetsek in the name of Jesus.”
But last week he received complaints of strange noises coming from the church. On Saturday, he slept at a church member’s house and heard the noises himself.
“First it’s Intlombe Yamagqirha (South African music) or gospel jazz,” said Omotoso. “Later a woman’s voice starts speaking through a loudspeaker. I was too terrified to go and investigate. I trust the Holy Spirit will deal with the problem.”
Chief Bhukhosini said he told Omotoso to build his church away from the grave of the sangoma.
“Now the villagers think Omotoso brought evil from Nigeria but the trouble is with the angry spirit of the dead sangoma,” he said.
Villager Sibakhulu Ntase, 78, said building on top of a grave is an insult. “The church should be demolished,” said the madala.
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