A 57-year-old pastor and five members of his church were arrested on charges ranging from rape, fraud and assault to concealment of death and kidnapping in Seshego earlier today (Monday) following intense investigations. The six suspects are expected to appear in court tomorrow (Tuesday).
According to Provincial Police Communications Head, Motlafela Mojapelo the five members of the church are aged between 24 and 59 years.
The arrests emanate from intense investigations conducted by the Seshego detectives and were effected during a snap operation which was coordinated and led by the Seshego Cluster Commander Sam Mokgonyane assisted by Station Commander Lucas Thlako. The Police recently started investigations after receiving complaints from some of the congregates that the pastor and his accomplices allegedly assaulted them severely during church services when they failed to make tithe offerings, according to Mojapelo. Others reportedly had to surrender their houses and cars and were told to stay on the church premises. Other allegations include extortion of millions of Rand of cash from pensioners who recently retired.
Mojapelo reiterated that the pastor is also suspected of raping several girls as young as 14. More than 40 cases of rape and assault are being investigated as well as allegations of the concealed deaths of congregates.
The suspects are expected to appear in the Seshego Magistrate’s Court tomorrow (Tuesday) while the pastor is also due back in the Mankweng Magistrate’s Court on Friday, standing accused on two charges of rape of girls aged 14 and 16 years respectively in Polokwane in 2012. He is out on R2 000 bail in the case.
Story: RC Myburgh