A 60-year-old Eastern Cape pastor, accused of raping and sexually grooming four teenage girls, has been released on R5,000 bail “with strict conditions”.
These include not being allowed to contact the girls directly or indirectly. He was also forbidden from mentioning their names in his sermons at the church.
The man appeared in the Qumbu Magistrates Court on Wednesday for four counts of rape and three counts of sexual grooming.
During proceedings, the pastor told the court that he intended to hire a private attorney.
The Natala village pastor, based in the Ngcolokini area of Qumbu district, allegedly preyed on four girls, then aged between 13 and 17.
The girls were members of his church, and three of the victims grew up in his home because his wife is their maternal aunt.
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The offences allegedly took place between 2010 and 2018.
But the girls only opened about their experience after moving to another area.
The girls also said when they initially revealed their interactions with the pastor, relatives and church congregants urged them to keep silent.
They reported being discouraged from exposing themselves to “ungodly” things like watching TV and socialising with people who did not attend the same church as them.
The pastor’s arrest comes after KwaZulu-Natal father was charged for allegedly keeping his daughter as a sex slave for five years.
In that case, the victim – who is now 21 years old – opened a case of rape against her father in KwaMakhongwane in Bulwer.