Pastor who raped congregants as a 'blessing' gets 37 years behind bars

accreditation
A pastor has been sentenced for rape.
A pastor has been sentenced for rape.
Getty Images
  • A pastor has been sentenced to 37 years in prison for raping five congregants in Bronkhorstspruit.
  • The pastor told one of his victims she would not conceive unless he "removed" the obstacle to her becoming pregnant, and raped her.
  • The pastor, a Congolese national, was also found to have been in South Africa illegally. 

A trusted pastor from Bronkhorstspruit was sentenced to 37 years in prison for the rape of five congregants who he claimed he was "blessing".

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said 48-year-old William Emeka's modus operandi was to tell victims they had a problem that he could resolve by praying for them and "blessing" them.

Instead, he was found guilty of 19 counts of rape and three counts of sexual assault after the women eventually told another pastor at the God is Love Ministries.

The Congolese national was also found to have been in the country with a falsified residence permit.

WATCH | Cape Town woman dies after being set alight by boyfriend

"Emeka told one of his victims who was also assisting with babysitting Emeka's children that by sleeping with him he was helping her take things that were inside her out, and until those things came out, she would not be able to conceive," said North Gauteng NPA spokesperson Lumka Mahanjana.

By 2018, the women stopped attending church, while he also made the bizarre claim to the congregation that he had made a woman's pregnancy "disappear".

IN NUMBERS | Murder and rape on the rise: SA's quarterly crime statistics

He was finally arrested in 2018 after his victims reported him to another pastor, who encouraged them to go to the police.

Comment was not immediately available from four numbers listed on the church's Facebook page, including its prayer line. Its page explains that to be a member of the church one must only have heterosexual relationships, within the confines of legal matrimony.

Ability

The church's slogan was "By fire by force we overcame the devil in Jesus name", and as the Prophet of God Sonar General Emeka claimed to have restored a boy's ability to walk.

In a video, he can be seen standing in front of a young woman and telling her he can tell she has problems at school.

His delivery included a purring sound as he strutted around the church preaching.

The NPA said he denied committing the offences.

READ | Former nanny devastated after 3 SA children found dead in their New Zealand home

Mahanjana said one of his victims became pregnant as a result of the rape and could not determine whether the father of her child was the pastor or her husband.

"When the woman testified in court, the DNA results to determine who the father was were not yet out," said Mahanjana.

Prosecutor Dorah Ngobeni implored the court to act decisively against the abuse of women and children, particularly Emeka, who used his position of trust in the congregation to prey on people.

The court ordered that his name be added to the National Register for Sex Offenders and he was declared unfit to own a firearm.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Should Proteas star Quinton de Kock continue playing at the T20 World Cup even if he doesn't take the knee in support of the fight against racism?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes! He should be allowed to show his support any way he chooses
38% - 1730 votes
No! If De Kock refuses to unite with his teammates, then he should be on the next plane home
12% - 560 votes
The only ones at fault here are Cricket SA, who have sabotaged another Proteas World Cup
49% - 2240 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.04
-1.4%
Rand - Pound
20.67
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
17.44
-1.5%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-1.7%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.8%
Gold
1,797.17
+0.2%
Silver
24.08
-0.3%
Palladium
1,961.53
-2.4%
Platinum
1,013.50
-1.8%
Brent Crude
86.40
+0.5%
Top 40
60,874
-0.3%
All Share
67,475
-0.2%
Resource 10
63,082
-0.9%
Industrial 25
87,253
+0.1%
Financial 15
14,054
+0.2%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE