BRONKHORSTSPRUIT - There was a lot of confusion and tension inside the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday when pastor William Emeka, who is accused of raping four women, failed to appear for a formal bail application.
The 43-year-old Emeka, a foreign national from the Democratic Republic of Congo, faces four charges of rape and two of sexual assault.
Allegations before the court are that Emeka asked four female congregants to take off their clothes before he smeared them with "anointing oil", and then he raped them in Bronkhorstspruit.
The accused was arrested in November last year. Soon after Emeka's arrest unknown persons set his church premises in Bronkhorstspruit alight.
Last year the accused abandoned his bail bid on 5 December fearing he would be attacked by some members of the public if he was freed.
On Tuesday the accused's visibly annoyed defence attorney, Andrew Maoba, told the fully packed courtroom that the police failed to fetch his client from Kgosi Mampuru ll Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
Maoba said he started making arrangements on 7 March with the investigating officer, who was only identified as "Mabusha", for the accused to appear in court for his bail application.
Police said when they went to fetch the accused at the prison he did not respond when his name was called.
“It is alleged that the accused person did not respond when he was called, but there is no such thing,” said Maoba.
“The accused person knows very well that he has to be in court today. There is no way a person can pay a lawyer and not come to court. This is unprecedented. It just simply defies logic.
"We are discontented with the manner in which this matter has been handled, particularly from the police services side.”
As a result Magistrate M.K Chauke postponed the bail hearing to Friday, 26 April.
African News Agency (ANA)