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Police in South Africa have arrested a self-proclaimed prophet who allegedly raped four girls inside his church under the guise he was praying for them.
The 32-year-old leader of a church in Burgersdorp outside Tzaneen in Limpopo was arrested on Tuesday August 22 after the rape of two 14-year-olds, a 15-year-old and 17-year-old were reported on Sunday.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, who confirmed the incident yesterday said the man would appear at the Lenyenye Magistrate’s Court…
Ngoepe said the prophet, who is married with three children, allegedly raped the girls who were ushers inside the church after inviting them for a prayer session on separate occasions.
Two mothers of the victims yesterday, recounted how their daughters were sexually assaulted.
The mother of the 15-year-old victim said she was initially happy when her daughter started attending the church last year.
“I am so hurt and disappointed. I thought my child was going there to improve her life but I was wrong,” she told The Sowetan.
She said what was going on in church was exposed by a pastor from another church in a meeting held by the residents and a community policing forum on Sunday.
“When I asked my daughter if she had been raped she started crying,” she said.
The woman said her daughter told her she was raped in December allegedly by the prophet after he invited her for a prayer meeting.
“At first he told her that she had the mark of the devil bellow her belly button and that her breasts were being sucked by demonic baboons.”
The mother said, according to her daughter, the prophet then allegedly grabbed the girl’s breasts and started to pray.
She said her daughter returned home after the prayer. The prophet had asked her to come back.
The mother said he invited her into the small prayer room where he allegedly started to touch her and forcefully undressed her. He then allegedly pinned her down and raped her on top of the table.
“I feel so hurt. I want him to rot in jail,” said the mother, adding that the incidents were only discovered later because the teenagers were too afraid to report the man they refer to as “Papa”.
“He threatened them by saying that the Holy Spirit which he put inside them would kill them if they talk about it.”
The mother said she had noticed a change in her daughter’s behaviour in December, but did not think it was linked to church activities. She said the girl was now withdrawn and spent most of her time sleeping after school.
Another woman, whose 17-year-old daughter was allegedly raped, also found out at the same meeting. She said the assault took place when the prophet had asked the teenager to come to church after school in September. She said the prophet had told her daughter that he had a sexual dream about her before raping her.
“I am so angry. I don’t want to see him and his church in Burgersdorp anymore. He deserves to be locked up forever.”
The woman said she had met the prophet who used to invite her to his church.
“I never thought he would do something like this,” she said.
She said she believed her daughter was repeatedly raped.
“The first time he raped her he did not use a condom.”
The woman said her daughter was struggling to cope at school and was suffering from mood swings since the alleged incidents happened.
“She even talks about suicide.”
The prophet established the church last year and it has services on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
First photo: The mother of one of four teenagers allegedly raped by a pastor crying outside Lenyenye Magistrate Court in Limpopo on Thursday.
Second photo: The prophet inside the court in Limpopo. Covered his face with jacket to avoid cameras.
Source: The Sowetan