Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) church leader Shepherd Bushiri has denied rape allegations levelled against him by two women who spoke to eTV in an interview that aired on Wednesday evening.
Police confirmed to the channel that they were investigating the rape allegations against Bushiri.
One of the victims alleged the pastor would stare at her during the church services and sometimes stood next to her during his sermons. Not long after that, a church elder allegedly told her Bushiri wanted to meet her at a hotel “to pray”.
“He insisted on a hug and tried to kiss me. I said no I can’t do this, you’re married. And he said ‘don’t worry about that’. He then touched me here [forehead] and I manifested,” she told the channel.
She claimed to have been under “some power that I didn’t even know” when he allegedly took off her clothes and raped her. He allegedly gave her R5,000 afterwards.
The second victim was allegedly asked by the self-proclaimed prophet “to study the bible” at a hotel. She claimed to have found him naked when she got there.
“He asked me to take off my clothes and then told me to turn around. I was shaking and scared. I didn’t know what to do. After that he came on to me and everything happened.”
She was also given R5,000, she alleged.
However, the self-proclaimed prophet has accused law enforcement officials of extortion for the past three years. He accused an official of intimidating women and children to come up with false rape allegations against him and his church members.
“This has been done together with members of the media. This woman comes and demands money from us. The supposed victims come and demand money from us. The shameless journalists also demand money from us.
“This woman, for the past 3 years, has been running an extortion syndicate against me through sending girls to demand money from us and if we don’t give, she told the girls to go public and accuse us of raping them,” said Bushiri in a statement.
He claimed to have reported the matter in 2018 to the State Security Agency, Inspector General of Intelligence, police commissioners, and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to “bring this woman to justice and leave me alone”.
According to Bushiri, the women who are accusing him of rape were allegedly recruited by the official.
“Some of these girls, secretly came to us, demanding various amounts ranging from R50,000 to R2 million to their masters (as aforementioned) in order to stop the story from being aired by eTV. We recorded them.
“Well, we told them we are not giving a single coin to them to stop eTV from running this story. eTV must go ahead. We are going to sue you and your extortion cohorts. This time we want to show you the power of money and justice,” he said.
Bushiri warned the alleged extortion syndicate of a “serious legal suit” that will ensue with all the “overwhelming” evidence against it.
“We will fight,” he said.
The church leader has been trending since the story broke, with people calling for his arrest.