'Idols' twins turn back on 'sex pastor' in court
Former Idols SA contestants, who backed a controversial Nigerian pastor accused of committing a string of crimes, including rape and human trafficking, yesterday turned their backs on him and apologised to the women of South Africa.
"We wish to send our heartfelt and sincere apologies to all the women of South Africa for we appear to be taking [the pastor's] side when he faced rape and sexual charges," twins Anele and Neliswa Mxakaza said in a joint media statement yesterday.
"And mostly, we wish to apologise to all the victims [the girls who were allegedly raped]. We know them all and we took them as our blood sisters, but when they came out we were made to turn our backs against them and support the [accused]."
The twins wrote that they were threatened into supporting the pastor and alleged that they were even asked to do newspaper interviews to protect him.
"We have been in this ministry for four years and we have lived in his house in Umhlanga for about a year. It was the worst experience ever ... we were actually pushed to please the man. We were told that God will punish us if we ever say anything against him.
"The elders of the church played a part in making us run away/escape from our homes to stay in [his] house, to serve in his ministry as kids. We were made to believe that [he] is the closest person to God and we can never have a relationship with God but only through him," they alleged.
"The rape allegations were not new to us when [he] was arrested.
"It is something that we knew long before he got arrested. The girls would talk immediately after it happened in the house and, when one was called to the upper room, we knew what was going to happen to them. We were made to keep quiet and never say anything. We have hurt our parents by allowing a Nigerian man to rule and ruin our lives," the twins said after the pastor and his co-accused appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court yesterday.
The case was postponed to March 8.