Prophet William Emeka at a previous court appearance in the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate's Court. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Tempers at the Bronkhorstspruit Magistrate’s Court will be flaring again when self-proclaimed prophet William Emeka returns to court on Tuesday March 5 for allegedly raping and sexual assaulting members of his congregation .

Tensions rise in and outside court every time Emeka appears to face at least seven charges and pleads his innocence in all allegations leveled against him.  

Community members calling for the Congolese prophet’s conviction often clash with congregation members who claimed that “the man of God was unfairly targeted and framed.” 

Magistrate David Shikwambane, presiding over the case, welcomed Emeka’s U-turn decision to abandon his bail application in December. 

The application was largely opposed by community members and EFF supporters who flooded to the courts to demonstrate.

Bronkhorstspruit EFF sub-regional convenor Olivier Mogoru said: “We are going to be there in our numbers on Tuesday and our position remains the same. We want the accused to be prosecuted and convicted if he is found guilty. 

“This is a very serious crime and we do not take it lightly. For us it’s not even about where the man comes from or the fact that he is a religious leader. In fact, we have a lot of religious leaders supporting us. We are against all crimes that are ruining our community.” 

However, numerous members of Emeka’s congregation continue coming to support the prophet even when they are outnumbered.

Scuffles have taken place inside court either before or after proceedings. A pregnant member of the congregation was rushed for medical attention last year when she clashed with community members. 

The crying woman claimed that she was poked in her belly by those who could not stand people who held different views on the matter.

Shikwambane has been handling the case with care, explaining proceedings and processes to the gallery thoroughly to avoid scuffles. 

He warned the community to behave themselves and tolerate each other’s different views on the matter.

Pretoria News