Guests and corporate customers at Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Sparkling Waters Hotel in South Africa woke up to their worst nightmare when they were threatened at gunpoint by the prophet’s bodyguards.
“Worst experience ever and will NEVER refer business or family/ friends to Sparkling Waters facilities or accommodation!” one of the hotel’s corporate customers headlined a 530-word-review of Sparkling Waters Hotel & Spar which Bushiri bought in 2016 for R31 million (1.5 billion Malawi Kwacha).
“My colleagues were threatened by the Pastors’ security entourage at gun point when walking to their rooms” wrote the reviewer on the hotel’s TripAdvisors page.
Several hotel guests have been complaining of Bushiri’s religious gatherings at the hotel which according to some eyewitness include noisy overnight prayers sessions that are attended by hundreds of people, “making it extremely unpleasant for hotel guests”.
The reviewer has described Bushiri’s entourage as “so violent, threatening, disrespectful and rude” to hotel guests.
“As the evening progressed, the situation worsened and it was unfortunately too late in the evening for my colleagues to leave. They felt threatened and had to lock themselves in their rooms for the rest of the night”.
The guests branded their stay at Bushiri’s Sparkling Waters Hotel a “stressful time”, “so uncomfortable” and “unsafe”.
“To make matters worse; Bushiri’s religious team started dismantling the stage at mid-night making even more noise thus they were unable to rest after this stressful time”.
Two frequent guests said booking with the hotel after Bushiri had bought it was a “complete rip-off” with noticeable “appalling lapse in standard”.
“We have been going here for the last 7 years. When I phoned to book this time, they did not tell me the place was bought by some pastor who is changing it into a bling monstrosity in the middle of the bush. The hot pool was ice cold. The tv had only 4 channels, and the only clear one was the owner’s [Prophetic] channel. The food was not even anywhere near what it used to be. I wasted my time and money, and feel cheated by them. My advice, stay the hell away from this place”.
The other guest wrote:
“This is my third visit, accompanying friends who visit regularly. It was one of the most frustrating and disappointing weekends while on holiday in South Africa… The dinner was dreadful… I had found a large lump of hard plastic in my mashed potato. The pillows were either lumpy or rock hard so it was pointless using them. We had three rooms and none of the televisions worked – unless you want to watch football or an evangelist preacher in a snowstorm. With no entertainment we all retired to bed early to read but then the electricity went off the the umpeenth time and in the absence of torches/candles/ generator we just went to sleep. I awoke covered in red bed-bug bites”.
“This was not the weekend treat that we were expecting and none of us will ever go there again. How they have the audacity to charge the full price of such atrocious service/facilities/food is beyond me. Goodbye, forever, Sparkling Waters.” Wrote the guests who identified herself as Elizabeth.
The hotel responded by apologizing falling “extremely short” of what they had promised to deliver.
The controversial prophet has been holding periodic religious meetings such as partners meetings, diplomatic services, and international meetings at Sparkling Waters Hotel ever since he secured the hotel.
According to published reports, it is alleged that Bushiri charges at least K250 thousand (about 5 thousand South African Rand) “for a one-on-one consultation” on spiritual matters reportedly after turning his Enlighten Christian Gathering (ECG) church into a personal money-making business entity for his extravagant use.
However, Bushiri denies the allegations that he has been using church offering for personal use such as procurement of the hotel and his Midland Estate, Centurion House.
The prophet, currently facing money laundering and fraud charges in South Africa together with his wife, also denies claims that he charges exorbitant fees for individual prayer meetings held at his hotel.
*Additional reporting by Sibu M. Mokoena