Rape charges a conspiracy, says pastor
Polokwane - The Limpopo pastor accused of raping a teenager and two young women in his congregation in Seshego had his bail application postponed on Wednesday.
Polokwane Magistrate Janine Ungerer postponed the 50-year-old's case to Friday so he could call another witness to back up his bail application.
Ungerer ordered the church's deputy pastor to give testimony after the pastor claimed, in an affidavit submitted by his lawyers, that there was a plot to discredit him.
“There is a conspiracy against the accused of keeping him in custody by some members of the church who were expelled,” the lawyer told the court.
Ungerer said: "I want somebody else who will come and support that there is conspiracy against him."
He was arrested on New Year's Eve after a teenager opened a rape case at the Seshego police station. After he was released on R2 000 bail, two more cases were opened in Polokwane.
The charges were laid by a 14-year-old girl, an 18-year-old from Polokwane and by a 20-year-old from Seshego, northwest of Polokwane. The cases would be heard simultaneously in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court.
The man had been in and out of custody since New Year's Eve, first at the Seshego police station and then at the Polokwane police station.
According to the police, the rapes occurred between 2009 and 2011, but were only reported after the minor opened the case at Seshego.
The investigating officer denied knowledge of a conspiracy against the pastor and told court he raped his victims when they approached him for prayer. Captain James Lebese said the girls were ordered to undress, which they did in the hope they would be healed.
The court heard one girl was raped more than six times, and did not report the case because the pastor was intimidating her.
The bail application was postponed to Friday. The pastor intended pleading not guilty.