Pretoria - A Limpopo man appeared in court on Tuesday facing charges of raping three teenage girls, according to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“Letus Hlongwane (41) from Tshikonelo village outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, appeared in the Tshaulu Periodical Court on three rape charges of three teenage girls aged between 15 and 16 years,” said Limpopo spokesperson for the NPA Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi.
“It is alleged that on September 6, 2021, at Tshikonelo village, Hlongwane met three teenage girls and threatened them with a knife before raping them at nearby bushes.”
On Sunday, Malabi-Dzhangi said Hlongwane handed himself to the South African Police Service at Tshaulu.
“The matter was postponed to September 28 for legal representation. The accused [Hlongwane] was remanded in custody,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
Last month, the Seshego Regional Court in Polokwane sentenced a 50-year-old pastor to five life terms in prison after convicting him on five counts of rape.
The NPA in Limpopo said the incidents took place between 2016 and 2017, when the children were aged between 11 and 13.
“The minor children were parishioners at his church and he used to provide them with food parcels as they are from poor families. He used to visit their families and he (would) then convince the parents to allow him to take the girls to the shops to buy them clothes, and that is where he got a chance to rape them,” said Malabi-Dzhangi at the time.
Last year, another Limpopo-based pastor, aged 57, was convicted on two counts of rape and sentenced to two life terms in the Mankweng Regional Court.
At the time, Malabi-Dzhangi said the well-known pastor was convicted of raping two girls, aged 14 and 16.