Unrepentant pastor on church’s dog-meat drama
A video of Pastor Peter Ratsatsi feeding dog meat to his congregants caused a public outcry, but he is unapologetic and says those who criticise him do not read their Bible
HE claims he can raise people from the dead, has performed a number of “miracles” and has fed a live snake to his congregants. And to celebrate his church’s one-year anniversary, Pastor Peter Ratsatsi set out a feast for his followers. There were cakes, balloons, sparkling wine – and a plate of dog meat.
It didn’t go down well with many South Africans and scores of animal activists who labelled his antics dangerous, absurd and insane. A video of his church members tucking into the meat went viral and he found himself being shunned by other Christians too.
It wasn’t right, people said. Who did he think he was, they asked.
But the pastor is having none of it. He’s proud of the work his Heaven on Earth church has done ever since he opened it
a year ago in Mahikeng, North West.
He cooked and fed the dog to the church members so they “could learn to serve God without fear”.
He even posed with the animal before it was cooked, which really angered animal rights activists.
But he doesn’t care what people think, “It’s just noise to me. I’m disappointed people are vilifying me instead of seeing the power of God through me, especially in light of our one-year anniversary.”
He proudly posted pictures of the celebration on the church’s Facebook page, which prompted people to question the pastor’s interpretation of the Bible.
So he took to Facebook to explain. “When you are the Son of God you take and eat. Nothing can kill you and you can eat everything. The spirit of God will minister. Don’t find yourself being deceived by the devil.”
Around 20 church members joined in the celebration, he says.
“What I do is simply a demonstration of the power of God. What good is it when you are sent by God if you are unable to perform miracles? Don’t just preach, show people what you can do.”
THIS isn’t the first time he’s shocked South Africans. Previously he posted videos of himself “resurrecting” a congregant who had “died” after being deprived of oxygen. In the video, he asks a fellow church member to close the man’s mouth and nose, in effect “killing him”. Pastor Peter then “resurrects” the man, before asking him what he saw on the other side.
He has also fed his followers a snake. He dangled the reptile in front of church members he said were possessed and told them to bite off pieces of it.
It’s all part of performing miracles, Pastor Peter says. The miracles performed in the Bible are miracles he has
been given powers to perform, he insists.
“I don’t like having to explain myself. Those who are against me clearly do not read their Bible. Study first the teachings. What I do is as the Bible says.”
Pastor Peter says he wants to change the mindset of people. “The snake they ate just came hissing in during a service. God spoke to me when I saw the snake, and I then knew its purpose,” he says.
He picked it up and called congregants to eat it. It was allegedly alive when two teenage members went to the front, shaking and apparently “possessed”.
They were reluctant at first but after a bit of convincing from the pastor, they tucked in enthusiastically.
“It is not a snake anymore, it is a chocolate,” he told them. “It is all about you from a mindset of fear. Why must you be afraid when you believe in God?”
Nothing happened to his followers after they ate snake and dog, he says. Instead they received healing and deliverance.
PASTOR Peter is inspired by Ga-Rankuwa-based Prophet Lesego Daniel and Prophet Penuel Mnguni (29), another pastor who’s been known to “perform miracles”. Prophet Penuel is known for carrying out extreme stunts at his church – including driving a car over two congregants as a “demonstration of power”.
“The man of God then commanded them to wake up while the car was on top of their bodies. He asked if they felt any pain and their response was ‘we do
not feel anything’,” he posted on Facebook.
“Prophet Penuel reversed the car and again commanded them to wake up. By amazement they stood up and began to dance and praise God together with the rest of the congregants.”
However, Prophet Penuel found himself in trouble with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) a few months ago.
He’s been asked to appear before the commission on several occasions, but in May he told DRUM’s sister magazine Move! that his rights had been abused by the commission.
“I did not harm anyone yet you are still seeking after me. I am ready to even go to jail for this gospel, not because I killed someone nor stole money from anyone. Who died in my church? Instead they received their freedom to serve God with all their hearts. I endure in my sufferings with great perseverance.”
Pastor Peter says he loves the prophet’s boldness. “He has a heart for the gospel and he is running his race with courage.”
Pastor Peter is also in hot water with the CRL Rights Commission after the video of him feeding congregants dog meat and snake went viral. But he hasn’t been called in yet, he tells us.
The CRL Rights Commission received a complaint about the church just days after the dog meat video went public.
The matter will be discussed once the new commissioner appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa starts this month, the commission tells DRUM.
The commission has been kept busy by churches and the pastors who run them this year – from the “resurrection” at Alleluia International Ministries, a story that made national and international headlines, to pastors making congregants drink petrol. And now this.
Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, the former chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission, called for churches to be regulated. “We have been strong in saying religious denominations must be regulated. This is the case in every other sector of economic activity in this country. We have the Medical Research Council, which deals with health professionals. We also have the Nursing Council.”
Now it will be up to the new chairperson, Professor Luka David Mosoma, to take on the churches.
Meanwhile, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) raised concerns about the treatment the dog faced at the hands of the pastor.
SPCA Inspector Meshack Matlou told Daily Sun that the dog must have suffered – but the pastor doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did. “It is a spiritual dog,” Pastor Peter says. “This dog would just walk in and out of the room during sermons. It is my dog.”
‘The snake they ate just came hissing in during a service’
Pastor Veteran Peter Ratsatsi holds cooked dog meat while he preaches ‘miracles’ to his congregants in Heaven on Earth Ministries. Although many have called his antics dangerous, the pastor remains defiant.
ABOVE: The pastor feeds his congregants cooked dog meat (LEFT) during a service to celebrate the first anniversary of Heaven on Earth Ministries.