No, there's no evidence a South African prophet was mauled by a lion while trying to prove God's power

A post claiming that a South African prophet fought a lion to prove God’s power has been circulated widely on Facebook. According to the post, prophet Alec Ndiwane of the Zion Christian Church battled a lion in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. However, a reverse image search reveals that the picture with the post is in fact from a 1981 movie, while the park denied the incident ever happened.

The post, dated November 22, 2018 has been shared on multiple Facebook pages, including this one with 177,000 likes, according to CrowdTangle data.

A caption reads: "Christian 'prophet' has his small buttocks mauled by a lion after running towards a pride 'to prove the Lord's power over animals' and that God would intervene during South Africa safari."

Screenshot of Facebook post claiming a South African prophet was mauled by a lionScreenshot of Facebook post claiming a South African prophet was mauled by a lion

A reverse image search on Google and Tineye search engines showed that the picture was taken from the American cult film Roar, directed by Noel Marshall and filmed at his California ranch.

Isaac Phaahla, a media specialist at Kruger National Park, told AFP that the claims of the prophet being mauled were untrue. "Fake News," he said.

AFP contacted the main branch of the ZCC in South Africa and they said they had not heard of the incident nor of that prophet.

"We have many ZCC branches across South Africa. However, we have not heard of such an incident," said Mogoba Sommyboy, who works at the church office. "Ndiwane? We do not have a prophet going by that name." 

This is not the first time the prophet story has been shared on social media. Two years ago, the same story was circulated using an image of Kevin Richardson, the South African Lion Whisperer, on this news site in Nigeria and this one in Kenya.

Richardson is commonly known as the lion Whisperer because of his unusual ability to bond with lions. He is a self-taught zookeeper.

Screenshot of one of the misleading articles about South African prophet mauled by a lion published by Tuko.co.keScreenshot of one of the misleading articles about South African prophet mauled by a lion published by Tuko.co.ke

Here is the trailer of Roar.

Mary Kulundu