Nigerian pastor and televangelist TB Joshua has died aged 57, according to social media posts on his official Twitter account and news reports.
Joshua was the leader and founder of the Synagogue, Church of All Nations (Scoan), a church that runs the Emmanuel television station in Lagos, Nigeria.
According to his official Twitter account, Joshua died on Saturday.
“The Synagogue, Church of All Nations and Emmanuel TV Family appreciate your love, prayers and concern at this time and request a time of privacy for the family. Here are Prophet Joshua’s last words: ‘Watch and Pray’.”
Known for his popular church services televised from his Lagos headquarters, the controversial Nigerian pastor gained popularity throughout Africa over his predictions of world events, politics and the economy.
Joshua has a huge following in South Africa, with several branches across the country.
South African congregants have even travelled to Nigeria to attend his church services.
His followers included EFF leader Julius Malema, who visited Joshua in Lagos in 2013 shortly after forming the party. Malema said he sought blessings and counsel from Joshua.
In 2014, groups of followers from South Africa visited Joshua’s church in Lagos. The trip ended tragically when 84 South Africans were killed after a six-storey guesthouse connected to the televangelist collapsed. A total of 116 people died.
The inquest verdict attributed the disaster to structural failures and found the building did not have planning approvals from the authorities.