Pastor gets 30 years in jail for rape and sexual assault of young men

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  • A pastor was sentenced to an effective 30 years for raping and sexually assaulting young men. 
  • Sthembiso Nathaniel Kubheka, 38, was sentenced in the Witbank Regional Court on Monday. 
  • Khubheka preyed on male victims in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.  


A pastor, who raped and sexually assaulted young men, will spend 30 years in jail.

Sthembiso Nathaniel Kubheka, 38, was sentenced in the Witbank Regional Court on Monday. 

Khubeka preyed on young men by portraying himself as a reliable pastor.

He hosted revival crusades in different areas across the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.  

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Police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said: "In those crusades, he would then make friends with the victims and lure them through social media platforms to visit him in Vosman, near Witbank.  

"Around December 2015, Kubheka had already managed to build trust with his victims and even enticed them by promising to conduct special prayers in private for them.

"Once they arrived at his place, the accused would make sexual advances. About five males, then aged between 17 and 23, had fallen victim to his conniving trap."

Hlathi said police were notified about Kubheka's actions and they investigated the matter.

Kubheka was arrested on 27 January 2016.   

"During trial, Khubeka did not succeed in defending himself against overwhelming evidence brought against him, hence his well-deserved sentence, which was handed down in court," said Hlathi. 

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Khubeka was sentenced to 10 years for rape, and 10 years each for four counts of sexual assault.  

When sentencing was handed down, the court indicated that Kubheka will not have an option to apply for a parole on a count of rape, and two counts of sexual assault.

"He will languish effectively in prison for 30 years. The accused was also declared unfit to possess a firearm and his name will be entered into the register of sexual offenders," said Hlathi. 

Mpumalanga provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mondli Zuma has commended the work done by teams of investigators, the prosecution as well as the judiciary, which led to the hefty sentences.  

Zuma has also praised the victims for their bravery in coming forward to open cases as well as testifying against the accused.  

"We believe that the sentence will deter others from following the accused's footsteps and we also trust that it will renew hope to victims of crime," Zuma said. 

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