A Ghanaian self-styled pastor, who was granted bail of R4 000 by the Protea Magistrates’ Court for the alleged rape of a 15-year-old Soweto girl, has allegedly threatened to kill her if she persists with the court case.
City Press has Facebook messages which appear to have been sent by Pastor Angel Maninoo Nyamekye of the Kingdom Prayer Ministry in Chiawelo to the victim after he was released on bail.
Nyamekye allegedly raped the minor at the church premises on February 23.
The televangelist, who is known as Prophet Angel Bazuuka to his church members and on social media, is also facing separate charges of rape and intimidation.
He is on the run from the police.
A series of Facebook messages which were allegedly sent to the alleged victim by the perpetrator read: “[Child’s name withheld], I am warning you for the last time ok.
"If you dear (sic) go to court I swear on my father’s grave you will get hurt and I will kill you like Becca”.
The 19-year-old Rebecca, nicknamed Becca, was a church member at Kingdom Prayer Ministry and died on January 27 after what was believed to have been food poisoning.
The messages read: “Come and see me on Friday ok. I am not done with you. You’re going to be my sex slave I am telling you.
"You are a fool, you don’t know the plans that I had for you and you betrayed me, you stupid girl. Mark my words, I am not done with you.”
The Gauteng National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson, Phindi Louw-Mjonondwane, confirmed that a case of intimidation had been opened against the pastor.
Referring to the rape charges Louw-Mjonondwane said the minor was 14 when the alleged incident happened.
“He [Nyamekye] was released on bail and on two occasions he furnished the court with notes showing that he was booked off sick by his doctor. He has since evaded trial. He is still at large,” said Louw-Mjonondwane.
The victim’s mother wept uncontrollably as she narrated the pain and suffering she and her daughter have gone through after the alleged rape incident.
She said they fear for their lives because the alleged perpetrator is still roaming the streets of Johannesburg or might be out of the country.
She believes they have been let down by the justice system.
Gauteng police spokesperson Mathapelo Peters confirmed Nyamekye was expected to appear before the Protea Magistrates’ Court on October 26.
“A warrant of arrest has been released against the suspect, after failing to appear in court again,” said Peters.
Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva, chairperson of the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), said:
“Some complainants came to us about allegedly being harassed by Pastor Nyamekye after his release on bail. We spoke to the police on their behalf and the system then started moving to get him back to court.
“Three have come forward with serious allegations involving children between 14 and 15 years old.
“It is unfortunate that the pastor was given bail and he is now on the run. Our point is that someone with allegations of child rape should not have been given bail.
“His case should have been fast-tracked through the system as it involved children and a pastor with many followers,” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
She said apart from Nyamekye’s alleged rapes, there were many people from different churches who had contacted the CRL Rights Commission about their own rape ordeals.
“There are many cases of people who have come forward to us who are at different stages, some ready to lay charges, others needing space to talk and we allow them to deal with the trauma in their own way.
"There’s a balance between foreign and local religious practitioners in the sexual violation allegations.
“We assist victims who are ready to open cases to do so and we work with government officials assigned to lay charges,” said Mkhwanazi-Xaluva.
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