The church where a man was supposedly "resurrected" by a pastor is now backtracking on the "miracle", Sowetan reports.
A video of pastor Alph Lukau of Alleluia International Ministries church in Kramerville, Sandton, performing the "resurrection" has gone viral over the past few days.
In the video, a Kings and Queens Real Funerals hearse can be seen transporting a coffin into the church where Lukau and congregants pray before the man rises from the coffin, breathing heavily in what is apparently staged to be a miraculous resurrection.
The "dead" man reportedly died on Friday after an illness.
According to Sowetan, Lukau's church now claims that the "dead" man was actually "already alive" when his "body" got to the premises and that Lukau had only "completed a miracle that God had already started".
This U-turn comes in the wake of funeral parlour Kings and Queens Real Funerals distancing itself from what transpired at the church at a media briefing.
The "miracle" has also been the subject of much ridicule on social media.
The parlour claimed to have been duped into taking part in the act and reported the matter to the police on Monday.
Sowetan reported on Tuesday that, amid mounting pressure, church leaders revised their version of events on Monday, claiming that the man identified as Elliot in the video had arrived alive inside a coffin at the church gate.
The church's pastor Rochelle Kombou told Sowetan on Monday that the church was "not interested in responding to critics" who accused them of misleading the masses as they were "preoccupied with doing God's work".
Kings and Queens manager in Polokwane, Vivien Mponda, told Sowetan that the hearse had been hired by the church for R2 000.