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EC church pastor in court for rape

By Faeza
13 December 2016

A church pastor who is accused of raping the 18-year-old girl he was tasked with healing appeared in the Butterworth Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The 43-year-old made a brief appearance and the matter was postponed to December 15 for a formal bail application, police spokesperson Captain Jackson Manatha said.

The man allegedly took the girl to a bridge in Butterworth last Wednesday to wash her with traditional medicine to treat her illness.

While there, he allegedly touched her genitals. No one else was at the scene, Manatha said at the time.

The man drove the teenager back to her home, only to pick her up again half an hour later. He drove her to a shack in Ibika township, Butterworth, where he told her to get undressed.

“The pastor also took off his clothes. The victim was instructed to lie on the bed. She was then allegedly raped by the suspect.”

The man took the girl home. Soon after he left, she told her sister what had happened.

A case was opened at the Msobomvu police station and the man was arrested on Friday afternoon.

Police said the man was a pastor at a Zion Christian Church (ZCC) in the area. They visited the church and received confirmation that he was a pastor there.

However, his family told police that the man had left the church a few years ago and become a herbalist.

Malicious

Manatha told News24 that when the man was charged on Friday, he was asked what his occupation was. He said he was a ZCC pastor.

In a statement, the ZCC said News24’s report on the man was “malicious” and denied he was one of its members.

The church said it was highly unlikely that the man was a pastor with the church because the last time its leader, Barnabas Lekganyane, appointed a priest was in 1998.

“In terms of the ZCC’s rules and regulations, only Bishop Dr Lekganyane can ordain the priests. Candidates have to be married adults with at least five years’ membership in good standing.

“Judging by the suspect’s age, 43, he would have been 25 years [old] when Lekganyane last ordained priests,” the church said in its statement.

The church said it had two branches: one which Lekganyane led (which used a star emblem) and another to which the man allegedly belonged, St Engenas ZCC (which used a dove emblem).

Source: News24