A controversial Eastern Cape cleric who allegedly took more than R100000 from a local businessman under the pretence that the man’s ancestors would multiply the money to R70-million appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court yesterday following his arrest last week.
This is the fourth time he has been arrested by police on allegations of fraud and theft. Thandile Kupiso, who calls himself a pastor, is implicated in a number of cases involving fraud and unsuspecting “believers”.
lIn 2013 he and his wife Nosiphiwo were arrested by the Hawks for allegedly defrauding a woman of R568000. Their case was struck off the roll due to insufficient evidence at the time;
lIn mid-2016, Kupiso was arrested by the Hawks after he allegedly defrauded an East London businesswoman of R900000; and
lIn December 2016, the couple were arrested again for fraud and theft.
Kupiso, leader of Real Vision in Christ Ministries church, also sold “healing water” to church congregations in Alice.
He allegedly took more than R170000 from a Butterworth businessman, Thabo Mdliva, and promised that his ancestors would give him R35-million and later double that to R70-million if Mdliva stuck to Kupiso’s instructions.
It is alleged he initially asked Mdliva to lend him R11000 and then later took more than R160000 from him in order to “heal” him and make him richer.
This happened in the space of a month between June and July.
When Mdliva did not receive the R70-million he was to “get from his ancestors” he reported the matter to the police.
Mdliva said he lost his money after Kupiso made him believe he could make him a millionaire.
He said he gave Kupiso the money in tranches – from his business and loans from friends.
“I initially paid him R11000 as he wanted to release his Jeep vehicle in East London.
“We later talked generally and he said he could help me with the problems I faced and that he would link me with my ancestors, whom he said would make me rich and give me R35-million.
“I was motivated when he said the money would double to R70-million.”
Mdliva said he believed in and trusted Kupiso.
At one stage Mdliva withdrew R100000 from his account.
“I gave him the money in cash and he said he had put it in three trunks in my house.
“But one day I woke up to look at the trunks and there was no money – it was only paper, wrapped with sellotape.
“I called the police and he was arrested,” he said.
Yesterday the court refused Kupiso bail. Magistrate Ntobeko Fazi said the investigating officer had to check for his residence, previous cases and other convictions.
In December last year, Kupiso and his wife Nosiphiwo were arrested by the Hawks over allegations of theft and fraud.
He was charged with two counts of fraud while his wife was charged with one. The two allegedly lured their victims by pretending to be healers with powers to cure illnesses including HIV/Aids, TB, high blood pressure and stroke.
Many people, mostly in villages, fell into the trap and allegedly paid thousands of rands but none were healed or cured of their illnesses.
Eastern Cape Hawks spokeswoman Captain Anelisa Feni said the case was still with the police.
Yesterday, Kupiso’s wife Nosiphiwo said Mdliva was her husband’s friend.
Kupiso is back in court on Thursday next week for a formal bail application.