Pastor on rape charges denied bailComment on this story
Pretoria - After threatening two of his victims with the wrath of God, a pastor accused of raping several of his church congregants was on Tuesday denied bail by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
During his bail application, which started on Friday, the investigating officer’s affidavit read that two of the victims received threatening SMSes from Brian Banda Chimbano, 48, of Believers Family Church.
The text messages said God would punish them for laying charges against him.
One of the victims was 15 years old at the time of her alleged rape in 2012.
Despite claims that Chimbano would not attempt to contact witnesses, magistrate Nozipho Mncube found it would not be “in the interests of justice” for him to be granted bail and said the SMSes were damning evidence to the contrary.
It is believed Chimbano met his victims in his church office in Pretoria West for meetings that often carried on into the early hours of the morning.
He would allegedly invite them to his house in Moreleta Park, but take them to a guest house in Meyerspark under false pretences.
At the guest house, Chimbano would allegedly invite the victim into the room, take off his clothes and apparently force the girls into bed with him.
In Chimbano’s affidavit, read out on Friday, he accused his ex-wife and a former pastor at the church of plotting against him.
He claimed his former wife harboured resentment towards him following their divorce in September.
Mncube deemed these allegations “highly improbable and highly unlikely”.
She said it was unlikely that Chimbano’s ex-wife and the former pastor at his church would team up and conspire to have him removed from the church.
Chimbano said he would plead not guilty to the charges levelled against him, promising to “clear his name” that had been “dragged through the mud”.
Chimbano is a Zambian national who has been living in South Africa for 14 years. He has a South African ID. He has one child.
In his affidavit, he claimed to have handed over his passport to the police, but the investigating officer’s affidavit claimed the contrary.
After the proceedings, members and former members of the church cheered outside the courtroom.
The matter resumes on January 27.