A popular South African pastor who passed away three months ago is yet to be buried because his family is praying for his supposed resurrection. According to IOL, Pastor Siva Moodley’s body is being preserved at a funeral home with the hope that he rises from the dead.
The man of God, who is the founder of Johannesburg-based The Miracle Centre church, passed away in August following an illness. But the 53-year-old’s body has since been kept at a funeral home. In an interview with City Press, the manager of the funeral home said Moodley’s family and members of his congregation frequented the establishment to pray for his resurrection following his death. But they have since stopped visiting.
The manager also said efforts to get in touch with Moodley’s family have proven futile, and he’ll reach out to the Johannesburg City Council to bury the pastor as a pauper. He also later alleged Moodley’s family instructed him to not talk to the press.
“He has three brothers and two sisters. They are surprised about what has happened. They have not been able to view his body. They know nothing about what is going on. All they see is what is being told on social media to his followers and congregation. His social media accounts are active as though he is still alive and coming back,” a source close to the family said.
“He was a man of God. He was a righteous person who was well-respected and well known. The family needs to set the record straight with everyone and give him a dignified burial. I understand that at the time of this death the family must have been frantic. But they need to do the right thing. Put this to bed. Siva has now gone to be with the Lord,” the source added.
The deceased pastor reportedly commands an international following, and he hosted a program on a popular cable TV platform in South Africa. On the church’s website, Moodley claims he has restored the sight of the blind and also healed people who had hearing issues. A couple also testified he resurrected their dead baby. Others also claimed he cured them of HIV/Aids and chest pains.
Moodley’s church is yet to confirm his death, and his social media accounts have been active with posts suggesting he’s the one sharing them, IOL reported. But his wife and son have been officiating services.
However, some congregants who spoke with the news outlet said they want the pastor to be buried. “I am glad that the truth is finally out on the whereabouts of Pastor Siva. He should be buried, because that is the natural thing to do. However, my main concern is, what was the motivation of his immediate family to blatantly lie and deceive the public about his demise? They have not formally told anyone about his death,” a congregant said.
Another congregant also said Moodley’s family needs to come to terms with reality. “In the Bible, Jesus Christ rose from the dead after three days. It’s now been three months. I understand it must be difficult for the family to let go of him but they need to. Give him a dignified funeral and let him be with his creator,” the congregant said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Johannesburg City Parks said it is up to the family to decide when he’ll be buried. “There are no restrictions or time frames in place on how long a family is allowed to keep a body. Currently, the only time frames we have are on Covid-19 deaths. The pastor’s family is well within their right to keep the body. We have no powers to tell the family when they need to bury. It is up to them. We can only intervene if the body is causing health or environmental issues,” the spokesperson said.