Rape accused pastor must wait on bail

2012-01-16 19:00

kalahari.com

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Polokwane - The bail application of a Limpopo pastor accused of raping three women was postponed by the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on Monday.

Magistrate Janine Ungerer told the court she wanted time to consider submissions made by the State and the defence, and would "think deep" before making her ruling.

The application was postponed until Wednesday.

The 50-year-old pastor faces three charges of rape - one in the Seshego Magistrate's Court and two in Polokwane.

He was arrested on New Year's Eve after a 20-year-old woman opened a rape case against him at the Seshego police station.

After being released on bail of R2 000, a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old opened cases against him in Polokwane.

The pastor's lawyer argued that the State did not have a strong case against his client, that he was not dangerous to the witnesses and would not influence or evade trial if released on bail.

It emerged during the hearing that the pastor knew one of the witnesses as a beneficiary of his church bursary scheme and the other as the child of a member who had been expelled from his church.

In an affidavit, the pastor claimed that the cases had been opened against him as part of a conspiracy by expelled members to tarnish his image.

According to the State, the pastor repeatedly slept with one of the women at a lodge in Polokwane.

His lawyer said the State had a weak case because it did not have a medical report confirming the rape.

"The State does not have DNA to confirm the case... It is only word of mouth," he said.

The State confirmed that it did not have medical evidence and had based the case on oral testimony.

- SAPA
Read more on:    polokwane
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