Controversial religious leader Paseka Motsoeneng, a.k.a "Prophet Mboro", said on Thursday morning that he does not regret his treatment of a chronically dehydrated child who died during his church service on Sunday.
Mboro claims that the child died in the ambulance, but paramedics maintain that Mboro handed them a lifeless child.
"Why would I feel responsible?" he told HuffPost, adding, "There is nothing more I could've done."
Three-year-old Letoya Gwam died tragically at Mboro's church –– after mother Nontombi Gwam was reportedly turned away from an under-resourced rural clinic and sought Mboro's prayers as a last resort.
Mboro said he called the ambulance, but that they didn't get out of their cars to help.
However, the paramedic involved in the case has laid a charge against Mboro for allegedly assaulting her. On Tuesday, Ekurhuleni West police spokesperson Captain Lesetja Mathobela confirmed to IOL that the female paramedic had opened a case of common assault against Mboro. He said an inquest docket had been opened, and police investigations were continuing.
In addition, the mother is reported by eNCA to have since laid a charge of culpable homicide against the paramedic, assisted by Mboro, who accuses state agencies of negligence.
"Yesterday I was charged for assault," Mboro told HuffPost, "I am appearing at the magistrate in Palm Ridge later today for common assault, but I am proud of myself for fighting for the child who was denied basic healthcare –– from the clinic, to the ambulance. So we helped the mother open her case of assault."
In response, the Gauteng health department has said it may investigate the incident. "If it is brought to our attention, we will investigate it," Gauteng health spokesperson Lesemang Matuka told IOL, adding that if Gwam's allegations were found to be true, those responsible would be brought to justice.
Mboro claims that those who say he is responsible are envious of his fame.
"The sad part is that people are jealous of the impact Mboro is having. None of these people have visited the mother or the siblings to say sorry. None. The whole thing is about the woman who alleges she was assaulted. They ran to the media. Never gave any counselling, or support," he said.
But the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities said on Wednesday that churches are not supposed to be hospitals, and should never attempt to heal the sick.
"It is not for the religious leader to encourage people to bring people to them who are extremely ill. Churches are not supposed to be hospitals; they are supposed to be places of worship," Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, chairperson of the CRL Rights Commission told News24.
When asked if he would do anything differently, Mboro responded, "I have no regrets."