South African clergyman steals identity of dead pastor; fakes wife’s death

South African clergyman steals identity of dead pastor; fakes wife’s death

Michael Sandlana, the 60 years old leader of Jerusalem, a faction of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church (IPHC) based in Pretoria, according to 2OceansVibe, is facing charges for faking the death of his estranged wife, all to get his hands on three properties valued at nearly R1.5 million in total.

His estranged wife, Magalane Benedita Sandlana — who is very much alive, was alerted to her apparent death by the bank, as reported by Sunday Times Daily.

According to reports, Sandlana was working with his lawyer, Albert Ramothwala, who helped with the fraudulent documentation to gain access to his estranged wife’s assets.

Ramothwala allegedly handed in documents to the master of the high court in Pretoria, which included Magalane’s “death certificate”, inventory of properties, a nomination form, and acceptance of trust as executor.

The clergyman and his lawyer are expected to go on trial in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in June.

The faking of his estranged wife’s death is however only the start of the clergyman’s road of deceit.

Sandlana (and his company Ntate O Lerato) are under investigation for allegedly stealing the identity of a rival church leader, Glayton Modise, who passed away in 2016.

Modise used to head the IPHC, one of Africa’s biggest churches with approximately three million people in the congregation.

The IPHC pastor’s son, Frederick Modise, succeeded his father in 2016.

The Sunday Times Daily reports that Sandlana’s company is being investigated regarding the transfer of ownership of two buses owned by IPHC. The buses were hijacked soon after Modise’s death.

According to the report, the department of home affairs (DOHA) confirmed that Modise’s ID smart card was irregularly issued a year after his death. The fraudulent ID card was used to complete the transfer of ownership.

Evidence suggests that Sandlana masterminded the transfer after Fredrick Modise confirmed that the ownership of the buses was changed from his father’s name and the IPHC NPC to a company known as Ntate O Lerato, reports Sunday Times Daily.

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