Pastor Eaten By Crocodile While Walking on Water Like Jesus-Fiction! 

Summary of eRumor:

Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa or Pastor Jeremiah Mahlangu (depending on the version) was eaten by crocodiles in South Africa while trying to demonstrate to congregants how Jesus walked on water.

The Truth:

There’s no evidence to support multiple reports of an African pastor being eaten by crocodiles while attempting to demonstrate for his congregants how Jesus walked on water.

The story first surfaced in June 2016 at the South African infotainment website eDaily.com under the headline, “Pastor Drowns and Gets Eaten by Crocodiles after Attempting to Walk on Water.” That version identifies 35-year-old  Jeremiah Mahlangu as the pastor who was eaten in front of hundreds of congregants while trying to “show off” at a baptism in the Crocodile River:

Unfortunately, the minister identified as Jeremiah Mahlangu drowned and got attacked by crocodiles.
Referencing Mathew 14:22-33, Mahlangu said that he received a revelation which told him that with enough faith he could achieve what Jesus was able to do.
However, on the second step into the water, Mahlangu drowned.
According to some congregants, the “prophet’ was disturbed  by a ringing phone in the crowd, and as he turned his head to see who brought a phone to the baptism, he lost focus and drowned.

The only South African by that name that we could locate was South African soccer player named Jabu Jeremiah Mahlangu. And there weren’t any credible reports from the time about a pastor drowning or being eaten by crocodiles in June 2016 when the report first appeared.

In May 2017, a very similar version of the old rumor resurfaced at the satirical South African website National News Bulletin under the headline, “Pastor Trying to Walk on Water at the Crocodile River Gets Eaten by 3 Crocodiles,” that begins:

A pastor from a local church in White River Mpumalanga died this morning trying to demonstrate a biblical miracle to his congregants.

Pastor Jonathan Mthethwa of the ‘Saint of the last days church drowned into the crocodile River also know as the crocodile river  and was seen by his church members getting eaten by 3 crocodiles.

“The pastor taught us about faith on Sunday last week. He promised he would demonstrate his faith to us today, but he unfortunately ended up drowning and getting eaten by 3 large crocodiles in front of us. We still don’t understand how this happened because he fasted and prayed the whole week.” said Deacon Nkosi, who is one of the church members.
Again, there was no record of a pastor being eaten by crocodiles at the time — or of a pastor named Jonathan Mthethwa. There also isn’t a record of a church called “Saint of the Last Days” as far as we can tell. Still, various websites, including Zimbabwe Today, re-reported the story. Given the lack of credibility of the story’s source, the lack of  corroborating reports,  and that none of the names appear to be real, we’re calling this one “fiction.”

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Collected on: 05/15/2017
False reports that an African pastor was eaten by crocodiles while trying to walk on water have spread on social media .