File picture: Independent Media

Port Elizabeth - A Nigerian pastor charged with human trafficking, sexual assault and the rape of young girls was back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Wednesday where the case against him was postponed. 

The pastor, dressed in a staple flashy suit and carrying his Bible stood in the dock where the case against him was postponed until next month. His wife was there to support him on Wednesday. 

The 58-year-old televangelist allegedly trafficked more than 30 girls and women who were from various branches of his church to a house in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly sexually exploited them. 

The pastor faces 22 charges related to contravention of the Sexual Offences Act‚ which include charges of rape and sexual assault. 

In a separate case he also faces five additional charges of fraud and of being in the country illegally. The court heard that the investigation with regards to the human trafficking and rape charges was complete, while the case involving the fraud charges have yet to be finalised. The matter was postponed pending centralisation of the two cases. 

According to testimony before the court, senior members of the church would recruit “vulnerable” girls between 13 and 15 and lure them into performing sexual acts with the pastor. 

Following a foiled arrest in Bloemfontein on the Easter weekend, the televangelist was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime investigation (Hawks) on April 20 at the Port Elizabeth airport. He has been in custody ever since. 

He has been denied bail twice by Magistrate Thandeka Mashayi. By way of affidavit, the pastor has denied allegations of sex with young girls. 

The case was postponed until December 5.