There’s a ring of bogus ‘prophets’ stealing from students, warn the police

The police in Gauteng are investigating several cases of theft under false pretences. This comes after a group of suspects posing as prophets hoodwinked victims out of their possessions. The group allegedly targets students in particular.


South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain Xoli Mbele said detectives are investigating several cases in which the suspects allegedly pose as prophets and target students. The “prophets” stop their targets and begin preaching to them before eventually disappearing with their possessions.

“In one of the cases, the victim was lured into bringing her laptop and those of her roommates together with her cellphone and she was transported to a local supermarket where she was required to buy salt and water,” said Mbele. When the victim returned from the shop, the bogus prophet and her possessions were nowhere to be found.

The police said the public should not stop and listen to any strangers on the street or take spiritual advice from them. They issued the following safety tips in order “to avoid being victims”:

  • Do not stop for any strangers in the streets, let alone give them ear, no matter how true what they say may sound.
  • Do not take or listen to any spiritual advise from strangers.
  • Genuine prophets will never request your personal belongings on the streets or money.

The public is urged to report any encounters with fake prophets to their nearest police station. Anonymous tip-offs can also be made via the MySAPS application.

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