Pastor in rape rap

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The community of Mfekayi in Mtubatuba, northern Zululand, is angry after a local pastor was arrested for raping two young girls, one of whom fell pregnant.

The girls are said to be related to the pastor and are members of his church

The 37-year-old man is a pastor of the Zion Church.

He is accused of raping the girls between 2004 and 2005 when both were 11 years old. One of them, who is physically disabled, fell pregnant.

Local councillor Zakhele Nyawo said he knew the pastor well since they grew up together and attended the same church.

He said after the first alleged rape the pastor told him the family were accusing him of raping a child.

"I told him that the accusation was serious and we had to report it," Nyawo said. "We went to the police and he was arrested.

"He was later granted a R1 000 bail but his wife had only R800. "I gave her the rest of the money so that she could afford his bail."

Nyawo said he later learnt that the pastor had confessed to the rape after a doctor established that the victim was pregnant.

The doctor is said to have decided to conduct an abortion because of the victim's mental state.

"After his confession the family met and he gave them a cow as compensation," he said.

Nyawo said on Sunday the second claim of rape surfaced.

"I met a group of people who expressed concern over claims that another girl had told members of the Mpilonhle Community Organisation that she had been raped by the pastor.

"The community is really concerned about it since the pastor is a respected person," he said.

Mtubatuba police spokesman Jabulani Mdletshe said: "The rapes took place during 2004 and 2005, when the victim was only 11 years old and did not even know what was really happening to her.

"The pastor allegedly called her in during one of the church services and raped her," Mdletshe said.

"The victim reported the matter to her granny, who did nothing since the suspect was a relative."

He said the pastor has appeared in the KwaMsane magistrate's court and the case will be heard on Monday. He is in police custody.