A Limpopo woman has claimed she spent seven months coughing and with swollen eyes after the infamous “Doom pastor” sprayed her with the pesticide.
Thabiso Chabalala, 20, testified in the ongoing trial against Lethebo Rabalago at the Mookgophong Magistrates Court yesterday.
Rabalago, who has styled himself as a prophet, was charged with five counts of assault and contravening environmental laws after images of him spraying congregants with Doom went viral in November last year.
Also read: The “Doom Healer” saga
This is Rabalago’s second legal battle after the provincial health department obtained an interdict in the Limpopo High Court against him in May.
Yesterday Chabalala told the court that she regretted allowing Rabalago to spray the pesticide on her. She said she responded to calls for the sick to come forward during a church service at Phomolong township last year.
Presiding magistrate Frans Mahodi asked Chabalala how she felt when she saw Rabalago holding the insecticide can.
“I was taken by surprise. I thought that was how God instructed him to conduct the healing,” she responded.
Chabalala said she was sprayed with Doom twice on the same day and became dizzy. She said at first she thought the dizziness was part of the healing process, but she started experiencing health problems later on.
“I regret it,” she said.
The state had also called a Grade 11 pupil who claimed he had to get help from a clinic after Rabalago sprayed him.
The 17-year-old said he had gone to the church to seek prayers because his neck was painful. Rabalago’s defence lawyer, Edmond Lubisi, said his client had never met the teenager.
“It is my client’s version that he does not know you or remember seeing you at his church,” Lubisi said.
Earlier, Catherine Mabitsela, a legislation chief inspector at the provincial department of agriculture, testified that Rabalago’s practices were misleading.
Mabitsela said Rabalago had not used the product according to regulations.