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Dominee, ‘prophet’ in showdown

News24.com, South Africa
July 8, 2004
Tom de Wet
www.news24.com

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Thursday July 8, 2004

Hertzogville – The “prophet” and the dominee are the talk of the town – not because of the predicted “resurrection” of Paul Meintjies, but about apparent interferance with the dominee’s congregation.

If Dominee Johan van der Westhuizen does not keep to his reported threat to wallop self-called prophet David Francis, there are more than enough others in town willing to do it.

Earlier this week, Francis prophesied that Meintjies would be resurrected, and his immediate family have been keeping him in the local mortuary at a cost of R250 a day, just in case, instead of going ahead with his burial.

The consternation this has caused in this Free State hamlet has now grown a second tail.

The new twist apparently came about when Van der Westhuizen discovered a member of the Action for Christ Ministries had offered to lay hands on the father of a woman in town and “pray him back to health”.

Reacted with ‘message from God’

It is claimed Van der Westhuizen promised, in no uncertain terms, he would come to blows with Francis if the “prophet” did not leave members of the Dutch Reformed Church congregation alone. The message was passed on to Francis.

Francis reacted with a written “message from God”.

Among other things, the church was admonished to do introspection and Van der Westhuizen was warned that he would not be the incumbent of his pulpit for much longer.

His removal from the pulpit “will be under very tragic circumstances”.

In the letter Francis said he ventured nowhere without God telling him to do so and he spoke no word unless God ordered him to do so.

The letter from Francis ended: “There is only one computer that can be used to ascertain whether this message comes from God and that is the computer of time. But, we will not have to wait for long.”

Meanwhile, members of the Meintjies household have expressed their dismay at the predicted resurrection.

Call for a post-mortem

Beeld was told the family was disconcerted because it was understood that Meintjies senior’s diabetic medication was apparently discontinued shortly before his death.

One of the family phoned a local newspaper on Thursday and said that a post-mortem should be ordered.

Van der Westhuizen had a brief response to a News24 call: “I want to keep a low profile and prefer not to react. It is senseless to expend energy on something of this kind.”

Francis refuses to allow that a photograph be taken of him. He says his refusal is in accordance with a command from God.

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