Gabola Church was founded just two years ago, where the church held usual meetings in local bars, called shebeens, to praise God while downing whisky. But its leader and self-styled ‘pope’ Tsietsi Makiti, 55 was immediately arrested, according to Reuters.
Following the surge of coronavirus, South Africa allowed religious worshippers to gather in groups of up to 50, but maintained a ban on people assembling to drink alcohol.
The name ‘Gabola’ means ‘drinking’ in the local Tswana language.
Pope Tsietsi says police can arrest them until Jesus comes back. Wearing a bishop’s mitre with a bottle of spirit hanging off it, Tsietsi says he has been moving services from place to place to avoid a clash with the authorities.
Recently worshippers met in a rubbish-strewn field in the south of Johannesburg, and as the service started, pope Tsietsi blessed some beer bottles in prayer.
Worshipers are allowed to bring the liquor of their choice, and the pastor will bless the liquor so that it will not be poisonous to their body.
They are experiencing a rough time during these times of Covid, as South Africa bans any assembly of drinkers.