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Prophet Makandiwa accuser Blessing Mashangwa dies in South Africa

South Africa based Zimbabwean businesswoman Blessing Mashangwa, who once shot to prominence after she, alongside her husband, sued Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa for over US$2.8 million, has died.

Mashangwa, who is credited with helping a lot of women start their own businesses over the years, died from an unspecified illness at a hospital in Johannesburg.

Mashangwa and her husband, Upenyu Mashangwa rose to prominence in 2017 after suing Makandiwa in a high-profile and dramatic case that took four years to resolve.

The pair claimed that as members of his United Family International Church (UFIC) between 2014 and 2016 they had made varying church offerings and tithes amounting to US$1, 1 million which they later claimed back after quitting UFIC.

In one of the claims the Mashangwas alleged that Makandiwa ordered them to stop paying the loan they had obtained from ZB on the basis of a prophecy he had made, which suggested that it was “a season of miraculous cancellation of debts”.

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The couple also wanted Makandiwa to pay them US$1, 7 million for allegedly recommending a de-registered lawyer who later duped them.

Makandiwa denied misleading the couple, saying no prophecy can command congregants to stop repaying their debts and produced evidence to defeat the couple’s claims.

High Court Judge Owen Tagu however ruled that the claim to recover tithes and offerings was frivolous as such contributions are ‘free will offerings’ which can only be recovered from God.

That judgement was later ratified by the Supreme Court in 2021.