Five life terms in jail for Limpopo pastor who raped little girls in his congregation
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Pretoria - The Seshego Regional Court in Polokwane sentenced a 50-year-old pastor to five life terms in prison after convicting him on five counts of rape.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo said the incidents took place between 2016 and 2017 when the children were aged between 11 and 13.
“The minor children were parishioners at his church and he used to provide them with food parcels as they are from poor families. He used to visit their families and he (would) then convince the parents to allow him to take the girls to the shops to buy them clothes, and that is where he got a chance to rape them,” said Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, Limpopo provincial spokesperson for the NPA.
“In aggravation of sentence, the prosecutions led by advocate Andisa Mudau called the mothers of the victims. Both testified that after the rape ordeal their children are struggling to cope at school and they are repeating their grades. The victims are afraid of men and they have nightmares about the accused.”
The victim impact report which was compiled by a social worker was also handed to the court. Malabi-Dzhangi said the report confirmed the evidence submitted by the children’s mothers.
During sentencing, the presiding officer, Annelies Swanepoel, said the accused had abused the trust which the minor children and their families had in him.
“They looked up to him as a prominent member of society and as their pastor but he took advantage of their poor financial background. People now are reluctant to go to places of worship as the very same pastors are abusing their positions of trust,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
Last year, another Limpopo-based pastor, 57, was convicted on two counts of rape and sentenced to two life terms in the Mankweng Regional Court.
At the time, Malabi-Dzhangi said the well-known pastor was convicted of raping two girls, aged 14 and 16.
“Their parents were told to bring their kids in order to receive deliverance or to get the prophecy,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
“The pastor called the complainant in order to deliver her from evil spirits. The pastor penetrated her, claiming to remove the evil spirit. The second incident of a 14-year-old girl happened after church in his house. (He) called the complainant and upon her arrival she was told that God loves her and she has a gift of prophecy but the problem is that she has a snake inside her stomach,” said Malabi-Dzhangi.
African News Agency (ANA)