Mbhoro duped - Young woman temps pastor out of his cash
His gift of the gab mesmerises the more than 9000 Incredible Happenings Church followers in Ekurhuleni every weekend, but controversial charismatic pastor Paseka Mbhoro Motsoeneng was conned out of R26000 by a young girl in a scam involving the hiring of artists from Zuzmuzi Music stable.
The young woman, who claimed to be the second wife of record label owner Tshepo Nzimande, charmed Mbhoro into paying a deposit to secure artists for a concert he was organising for the church last month.
The young con artist was introduced to him by his trusted ally, Kasi FM DJ Jabu 'JR' Nhlapo.
After initially refusing to talk to us about this embarrassing episode and insisting this paper had slandered him in the past, Mbhoro relented by organising an elaborate confessional at a restaurant in Alberton that included JR coming in to tell the paper about his role in this scam.
"I am on fire, my sister. I didn't want to go to newspapers with this story, but this shows that God is looking after me," said Mbhoro. "That is why He brought the paper to me!" he enthused.
Both men said they felt used and embarrassed about being taken in.
"I had a concept of recording a live DVD at a concert I was hosting and needed JR to help with my idea. He suggested I get gospel artists to perform there. Even though I was not keen, I agreed.
"I'd never organise an event with artists because I'm a crowd puller on my own and I've never needed them to make anything I do a success."
But he softened to the idea of getting popular acts such as Lundi, Fikile Mlambo and Sechaba.
MaNzimande, a regular caller on JR's show, known to them as Babalwa, was the obvious solution.
At first she said she would charge R128000 for four artists but the enterprising Mbhoro negotiated the price down to R52000.
He promptly paid the deposit with the understanding he would pay the rest after the show.
Mbhoro's suspicions should have been aroused when he met the young maNzimande.
He recalled how the young wife pitched at their meeting to sign the contract in a beat up car.
"When I saw her I told her she looked young.
"I honestly expected someone older and I was amazed that she was driving a scrap as she claimed to be married to a high profile man," he recalls.
Mbhoro became more suspicious when maNzimande played tricks after he requested a meeting with Nzimande himself.
First Babalwa said he was out of town to bury his father in Kwazulu-Natal and later that he was too depressed after the burial to make it to another meeting.
Then Nzimande called Mbhoro to demand an explanation as to why his artists were being advertised on flyers for his upcoming show without his consent - and the pastor knew he was being conned.
Mbhoro confronted JR, whose bank account was used to deposit the money and got R20000 back.
"I believed JR because he organises many things for me. It never crossed my mind that he would crook me."
A sorry JR, whom Mbhoro calls his own adopted son, claims he was also duped by the woman but could not account what happened to the rest of the money.
Sunday World called Babalwa, who insisted it was JR's idea to fleece Mbhoro.
The pastor said he would not press charges against someone he considers his son.
The concert eventually happened and Nzimande charged Mbhoro a reduced rate of R62000 for the artists and in the end both men were able to keep their reputations intact.
"I've never met this lady who claims to be my wife. I do not know her at all," says Nzimande.