PORT ELIZABETH - A third woman appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court in connection with the case involving a Nigerian pastor charged with human trafficking and the rape of young girls.  

Directorate Of Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) spokeswoman, Anelisa Feni said that Nobubele Mlindi 31, appeared before court on Thursday for allegedly recruiting girls for purposes of sexual exploitation. 

Feni said that the woman handed herself over to the Hawks’ Trafficking in Persons (TIP) team in Port Elizabeth on Thursday and faces charges of trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Mlindi is the third suspect who has been arrested by the TIP team for allegedly recruiting girls all over the country and monitoring their movements in the houses were they were being kept.  

Zukiwa Sitho, 28, and Lusanda Solani, 36, were the first two suspects who were arrested after the pastor. 

The women are out on bail of R2,000 each. 

It is alleged that between 2012 and 2016, while working for the Department of Health in Port Elizabeth, Mlindi recruited girls to reside at the pastor's house in KwaZulu-Natal. 

Feni said it was further alleged that she, at certain periods, was the "house mother" for this house. Mlindi now resides at Mmabatho in North West province. 

The pastor was arrested on April 20 last year by the Hawks at the Port Elizabeth Airport. 

The pastor faces charges related to contravention of the Sexual Offences Act‚ which include charges of rape and sexual assault. He also faces additional charges of fraud and being in the country illegally. 

 According to the State, some of the alleged victims are as young as 13 years old. The televangelist and three woman will appear back in court on April 11 when the matter may be transferred to the Port Elizabeth High Court. 

African News Agency/ANA