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Fake Zimbabwe prophet reveals how he fleeced followers

“IF YOU want God to bless you then you must sacrifice.”

Jay Israel

These are the words notorious preacher Jay Israel says he would use to get his congregants to fund his lavish lifestyle, which included luxury cars, alcohol and women.
Israel, a Zimbabwean national, has since revealed he was just a fake prophet, driven by the desire to have a good life.

He was speaking at the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) hearings into false churches
yesterday.

“You would wipe people’s banks (accounts) clean and they would still come back and thank you and say you are a very good man,” Israel said. Israel said when he was 19,
he met a Ghanaian man who took him to a village in Benin, a country in west Africa, where he went through a ritual that he believes helped him
become a famous “prophet”.

“I was not under duress. I did this because I wanted what I wanted,” he said. Israel, whose real name is reportedly Jacob Dube, said he learnt how to manipulate people and had many people, particularly in the Eastern Cape, give him their money and cars when he was as young as 23. “No matter what you say to a prophet’s followers they
would not believe it.

Even if you catch a pastor with his pants down they will say it’s the devil,” he said.

Israel said when his followers would not give him money, he would use the Bible to coerce them.

“I would say you have robbed God. No Christian wants to feel that … it was all about how to get what I want.” Israel said some of the ways pastors keep people in the church included the use of fake miracles.

“Those who are really sick will never be touched by the pastor. They will just be left wherever.”

Israel said he started to feel empty inside and started taking drugs and had thoughts of suicide.

He started to preach against anointed materials, sex in the church and about the things he had done.

“All the people close to me started leaving, even my friends … I became an island.”

— The Sowetan