A 39-year-old pastor appeared before the Mkhuhlu Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl, who is a member of his congregation.
The rape of the teenage girl allegedly happened at the home of the young girl on January 24.
“The victim finally broke her silence to concerned citizens on February 7. The incident was eventually reported to the police,” Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, said.
The case was assigned to the Acornhoek family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) unit which probed the matter, resulting in the arrest of the 39-year-old man on Friday.
“During his court appearance, the suspect was remanded in custody. The case was postponed to Thursday for a formal bail application,” said Mdhluli.
In an unrelated matter, Mpumalanga police said they have made “a breakthrough” in a rape case involving a seven-year-old girl.
Police said the seven-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her 52-year-old grandfather.
The quinquagenarian was arrested for the incident which allegedly happened on December 26, in Bushbuckridge.
“The girl also broke her silence after her mother had a conversation with her children regarding incidents of molestation, and emphasised that they should not keep quiet about such incidents but rather report it immediately,” said Mdhluli.
“It was during this period when the little girl came out and talked about her ordeal.”
After an investigation was conducted, the grandfather was traced and apprehended hence the court appearance.
The grandfather was remanded in custody, and the case was postponed to Monday next week for formal bail application.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has welcomed the arrest of the two suspected rapists.
Manamela also raised concern regarding frequent allegations of minor children being raped by adults across the province.
“Adults should protect children who are the future. We are confident on the wheels of justice and hope that justice will be served. We are also encouraged by the (arrests),” said Manamela.
Last month, IOL reported that a 42-year-old man from Bethal in Mpumalanga allegedly raping and impregnating his 13-year-old biological daughter.
“His court appearance came after his arrest by the family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit. It is further alleged that the victim was sexually victimised by the suspect during September 2023,” Mdluli said at the time.
“Reports indicate that on January 4, it was discovered that the girl is pregnant. Thereafter, the suspect apparently threatened to kill the victim if she revealed to anyone about what has happened between them.”
It is also alleged that the 42-year-old man also offered the teenage girl money to buy her silence.