File picture: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo.
DURBAN - The Mankweng Regional Court in Limpopo will tomorrow deliver a verdict in a trial involving Seshego Pastor James Thubakgale, accused of raping two teenage girls.

The 57-year-old Thubakgale is facing further charges of fraud, assault and more than 40 charges of rape in a separate case. This week, Thubakgale was arrested with five of his right-hand men at the church. Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said a barrage of complaints against the pastor had been received.

“Members started investigating these cases that the pastor and his accomplices allegedly assaulted them severely during church services when they failed to make tithe offerings.

“Others allegedly had to surrender their houses and cars, and were told to stay within the church premises.

“Other allegations included extortion of hard-earned millions of rands from pensioners who had just retired,” said Mojapelo.

“The pastor is also suspected of having raped girls as young as 14. More than 40 cases of rape and assault are being investigated. The police are also investigating the allegations that the deaths of certain congregants might have been concealed.”

The rape of two teenage girls dated back to 2012.

“He was out on R2000 bail when he was arrested for the latest crimes,” said Mojapelo. 

- African News Agency (ANA)