Two nabbed for 'aiding' Nigerian pastor accused of human trafficking
Port Elizabeth - Two women have been arrested for allegedly aiding a Nigerian pastor, charged with human trafficking and the rape of young girls, South Africa's Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) said on Wednesday.
Spokesperson, Captain Anelisa Feni said the two women aged 28 and 36 were arrested on Tuesday, by the Port Elizabeth Hawks trafficking in persons unit. They are expected to make their first appearance before the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's court on Friday.
Feni said the women allegedly recruited young girls for the pastor.
"It is alleged that the suspects recruited girls, all over the country and monitored their movements in the houses were they were being kept," said Feni.
"Investigations with regards to this case are continuing and more arrests will be made."
The pastor was arrested on April 20, by the Hawks in Port Elizabeth. He is facing multiple charges related to contravention of the Sexual Offences Act.
According to the State some of the alleged victims are as young and 13-years old.
Meanwhile, the pastor is expected to appear before the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday, this time for a bail appeal.
His lawyer, Gert Van Niekerk, said that the appeal was in relation to the pastor's first bail application, which was refused.
Earlier in June, the televangelist was denied bail based on reasons around conspicuous passports and an inclination to interfere or intimidate state witnesses.
The court found that the pastor had no ties in South Africa and would in all likelihood flee if he were to be released on bail. In her judgment, Magistrate Thandeka Mashiyi, said that the pastor was charged with serious offences and the minimum sentence, if he were to be convicted, would be life imprisonment.
Mashiyi said that she had to consider pertinent factors, including that the pastor was a Nigerian national and held two current Nigerian passports, adding that he did not have any fixed assets in South Africa, although he did own six vehicles, each to the value of over a half a million rand.
The pastor brought a subsequent bail application on new facts in September which was also refused.African News Agency