A South African pastor, Alph Lukau, who claimed to have resurrected a man from the dead has said he regrets the incident.
His viral resurrection stunt led to several lawsuits with some critics challenging him to raise the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela, from the dead.
Mr Lakau, who runs the popular Alleluia Ministries, has now also claimed that the man was already alive when he arrived at his church.
The controversial preacher said this during an interview with Power FM’s Power Drive host, Thabiso Tema, in South Africa on Wednesday.
Explaining how it all happened, he said he was busy with a sermon on Sunday when he was interrupted and told that a person in a coffin had been brought to the church.
“Before entering the premises of the church, the coffin began to shake, meaning the person was alive. I am really sorry for the misrepresentation of facts, the man was not dead and has never been in the mortuary as we earlier said,” Mr Lukau explained.
When asked by the host why the man had been brought to the church in the first place, Mr Lukau said, “I am not sure if I can make a statement that he was brought to me.
“We are the house of God and I’m just a pastor serving in the house of the Lord. But I am sorry that we didn’t tell people the truth in the first place,” he added.
Mr Lukau noted that the man was brought to the church by his family, who believed that something would happen if he was prayed for.
He added that further questions about why the man was brought to the church would be better answered by the man’s family.
“I think that they brought the person to church because they believed that God had the ability to resurrect the person, but still our brother was alive even before they brought him to church and we really apologise for not telling the truth in the first place,” he said.
During the interview, Mr Lukau claimed the only time he restored life was to an unborn child whose mother had alleged that she had been told the child had died in the womb.
“The heartbeat could not be detected before but after the prayer, they [were] told the child is fine,” said Mr Lukau.
The pastor, who found himself in the middle of mass criticism from the public, also added that he had no power to resurrect a person from the dead “except if God used him as an instrument.”
Meanwhile, a lawyer representing Mr Lakau’s church, Alleluia Ministries, has denied allegations that the “resurrected” Brighton Moyo had been paid before to participate in “miracles”.
This is according to a report by a South African news portal, Timeslive.
He was responding to several colleagues and friends of Moyo’s who said that he had told them it was not the first time he had played a starring role in showcasing miracles.
Initially dubbed “Elliot”, the man who was apparently resurrected by the controversial pastor had on a previous occasion been “healed” from being confined to a wheelchair, a colleague of his told TimesLIVE.