Pastor guilty of rapes 'did not leave a good impression'

2017-01-19 17:09
Former pastor Carl Baron with his lawyer Johannes Grobelaar. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Former pastor Carl Baron with his lawyer Johannes Grobelaar. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - A retired Pinkster pastor was found guilty of raping an 8-year-old girl congregant 46 years ago, by the Parow Regional Court on Thursday.

Magistrate Amanda van Leeve said 78-year-old ''Oom Kallie'' Carl Baron had not left a good impression.

At one point he had even suggested that because God prohibits rape, the allegations against him could not be true, she said, summarising all the evidence and testimony.

Earlier, Baron's lawyer told the court the woman was too “deurmekaar” (confused) to justify a guilty verdict.

“There is too much of a discrepancy between dates,” submitted defence lawyer Johannes Grobbelaar, while Baron sat in the dock in a suit too big for his shrunken body.

The woman, who may not be named, laid a complaint with police in November 2015, alleging that “Oom Kallie” raped her twice in 1970, when she was 8.

She said the attacks took place near the University of the Western Cape, on Modderdam Road (now Robert Sobukwe Road), when he gave her a lift home from school.

The second time was at a church picnic in Oudtshoorn when he separated the children from a women's prayer circle. He was not a pastor yet, but a member of the Emmanuel Pinkster Sendings Kerk (Emmanuel Mission Church).

READ: Doctor won't testify for defence in 46-year-old rape case

Vivid memory

On both occasions he allegedly made her sit on his lap.

Baron had pleaded not guilty to the two charges of rape. He said outside the court that the allegations had divided the church and caused him sleepless nights.

Rattling a bottle of calming tablets, he said he wished everything was over, one way or the other because of the toll it was taking on him.

During summing-up, the woman sat at the back of the court with friends as prosecutor Dercia Rabie said her testimony must be treated as that of a child's because it happened when she was young.

For children, she testified, traumatic events left a vivid memory, so it was not surprising that she still remembered clearly what happened to her.

Rabie said the woman never deviated from saying it happened when she was 8 and in the old Sub B (Grade 2) school grading system.

“She never said she might be mistaken.”

Rabie however found Baron's crystal clear memory of that time difficult to accept.

“He was able to say precisely what he was doing at a certain time of day. That is extremely strange,” she submitted.

“According to the accused, the complainant is deurmekaar. And he is the only person with a perfect memory. That is humanly impossible.”

READ: 'Pastors can lie to you' - accuser in decades old rape case


In lengthy final argument, Grobbelaar said he gave Baron homework of poring over his diaries from the early 1970s, to check his alibi.

Dates are extremely important for a court to determine guilt because they give an accused an opportunity to say he was somewhere else.

In this case, he was on a church choir tour on one of the dates and in Kimberley for the other, submitted Grobbelaar.

The first time Baron ever went to Oudtshoorn was in 1976, he added.

Grobbelaar cast doubt on whether the people she came into contact with afterward lived at the places she said they did at the time of the alleged attacks. He tore into the testimony of the three State witnesses.

He said even her version of why she took so long to lay the charge did not make sense.

He told Magistrate Amanda van Leeve that she claimed to have told one woman who told her not to speak about it. However, later she said she did not say anything because she did not think anybody would believe her.

“Could it be that after 30, 40 years, she began believing it was the truth?” asked Grobbelaar.

“I want to submit it is a lie.”

Read more on:    cape town  |  crime

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