A 57-year-old pastor from Seshego was arrested on Monday, together with five members of his church, for multiple crimes including rape, fraud, assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, concealment of death, kidnapping, extortion, and theft, reports Polokwane Review.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the arrests emanate from intense investigations conducted by detectives in Seshego.
“Police began investigating these charges soon after receiving complaints from some of the congregants that the pastor and his accomplices allegedly assaulted them severely during church services, when they failed to tithe,” Mojapelo explained.
He added that others allegedly had to surrender their houses and cars, and were told to stay within the church premises.
“Other allegations include extortion of hard-earned cash in millions from pensioners who had just retired. The said pastor is also suspected of having raped girls as young as 14. More than 40 cases of rape and assault are being investigated. Police are also investigating allegations that the deaths of certain congregants might have been concealed.”
The pastor will appear in the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Friday for another rape case, and all suspects who were arrested yesterday will appear in the Seshego Magistrate Court today.
“Police investigations continue and more arrests and charges are possible,” Mojapelo concluded.