The Limpopo High Court has issued an order banning the use of insect spray for religious healing.
Judge George Phatudi ruled on Monday that controversial pastor Lethebo Rabalago was to stop spraying Doom on members of his congregation.
The Limpopo health department launched a court bid against the use of the spray for religious purposes after Rabalago, who has been nicknamed the “Prophet of Doom”, used the insect repellent to allegedly heal church members.
The department and Rabalago, who is the leader of the Mount Zion Church, have been at loggerheads about his unconventional “healing” methods.
Legal counsel for the department, Advocate Humphrey Masilo, told the court that the government had obligations to protect unsuspecting citizens from harmful practices.
But Rabalago’s lawyer Advocate Edmond Lubisi argued that none of the members of the congregation had died from inhaling Doom.
Masilo said: “There is a risk factor that these people who have been exposed may not have volunteered themselves ... If he uses this Doom in his house on himself, it is not a problem.”
Masilo and the department failed to submit an expert's statement on the complications that might be caused by inhaling Doom, while Lubisi argued that the insect repellent was administered to people who volunteered.
“If the State wants to interfere and dictate on how churches should operate, it should be done according to the law,” said Lubisi.
Phatudi lambasted the pastor, saying he was neither a scientist, nor a chemical expert.
Doom is a product of Tiger Brands, which warned against its use on humans.
“We find this practice alarming and extremely concerning, and want to make it very clear that it is unsafe to spray Doom Super Multi Insect Killer, or any other aerosol spray for that matter, into people’s faces,” Tiger Brands said.
Rabalago said that he used Doom insect killer to heal people with cancer, HIV or any other illness, as well as to drive out demons.