Pretoria - Pastor William Emeka, who is accused of raping four of his female congregants last year, was denied bail by the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.
The 43-year-old Emeka, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), faces four counts of rape, two of sexual assault and one charge for being in South Africa illegally.
While handing down judgment, Magistrate M.K Chauke said Emeka failed to prove to the court that exceptional circumstances existed for him to be granted bail in terms of section 60(1) of the Criminal Procedure Act.
“There is nothing specific in this application that was said to be exceptional,” said Chauke. He added that evidence was previously presented to the court that Emeka had fraudulently applied for a South African residence permit.
“It is the finding of this court that you are in this country illegally. I don’t find it to be in the interests of justice for you to be given bail.”
An immigration officer from home affairs, Clement Masemola, testified earlier on Thursday that Emeka was in the country illegally because the pages of his passport were not stamped.
Emeka’s defence attorney, Andrew Maoba, presented the court with another passport belonging to his client. The second passport was stamped once by the DRC government and once by South Africa's home affairs. Both stamps were dated March 26, 2003.
Masemola confirmed under cross-examination that the home affairs stamp in the passport was authentic.
“I went out and conducted my own investigation,” said Maoba. “This is because the court has asked the question as to how the accused person came into the Republic of South Africa. If the investigating officer (Sergeant Matlou Mabusha) is not helping us to conduct his investigation, I took it upon myself to conduct that investigation.”
The matter was adjourned to May 24 for further investigations.
Emeka was arrested in November last year following allegations that he asked four female congregants to take off their clothes before smearing them with anointing oil. He then allegedly raped them.
African News Agency (ANA)