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Unholy union: ‘Pastor raped me instead of praying for me’

Mastor Sibongakonke Shabalala from the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg appeared in court for the alleged rape of a fellow pastor. Picture: Supplied.

Mastor Sibongakonke Shabalala from the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg appeared in court for the alleged rape of a fellow pastor. Picture: Supplied.

Published Nov 18, 2023


An unholy event has plagued the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg after the the reverent allegedly raped a fellow female pastor in 2020.

On Thursday pastor Sibongakonke Shabalala appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on charges of rape.

The female pastor who could not be named for fear of victimisation has alleged that she was raped by the pastor who had been sent to pray for her husband who at the time suffered from colon cancer and was in and out of a coma.

Following weeks of requests for prayer, the church sent Pastor Shabalala to help the family deal with the situation.

It is alleged that the pastor met the victim in Parktown near the BP garage ahead of his visit to the victim’s husband with two energy drinks in hand.

“My husband had been sick and had just awoken from his coma when the pastor requested to make his second visit to see my husband. On the day of the visit, the pastor arrived with his car and got out of his car with two energy drinks in hand. He gave me a full drink while he continued drinking his already half energy drink. Because he was the one allowed to see my husband due to one person visit rules, I stayed behind in the car waiting for him,” the victim told the Saturday Star.

According to the victim, on his return, the pastor asked for the victim to accompany him to a church meeting on Louis Botha Avenue. Once again the victim stayed behind and the perpetrator went inside what looked like a home with two separate housing units. When the accused returned, he allegedly asked the victim to come sit in on the meeting. It is then that she started feeling dizzy.

“When he came back, he told me to come inside. As I was trying to get up, I felt dizzy and thought it could be because I am a former tumour survivor... I followed him and he knocked once on one of the doors, I was confused to realise that this was not a board room as he had indicated, but a bed room...this is the last thing I remember. The next thing I woke up to a ringing phone next to my head and realised just then that I was naked and he was naked too,” she said.

The victim says her attempts to speak to the church elders were blocked after the perpetrator threatened to kill her.

“I tried to speak to the church board and the church bishop but I was snubbed. He told me if I dared to tell this to anyone, he would send his hitmen on me. I tried to force him to tell the church, but he refused. What hurts the most is that I have been forced to work with this monster while trying to deal with everything that has happened to me. The past three years have been torture and the only good thing that has happened is graduating as a pastor in 2022,” she said.

“It has been a very traumatising experience not being able to deal with this rape as I had to take care of my ailing husband who passed on last year on top of dealing with multiple deaths during this terrible time. Only now have I felt I could be able to deal with the rape,” she said.

Following his arrest on Wednesday, the suspect was remanded in custody pending his bail hearing which will be heard on Wednesday November 22.

Attempts to get comment from the church leaders were unsuccessful at the time of going to print.

Saturday Star