Pastor to know his fate on rape cases next month

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Judgment against the controversial Limpopo pastor charged with two counts of rape has been reserved for March 22.

Pastor Madidimalo James Thubakgale of the Devine Deliverance Church of Christ in Seshego appeared in the Mankweng Regional Court on Friday, where judgment was scheduled to be handed down following two cases against him for allegedly raping two women in 2012. Thubakgale, 57, requested a postponement for medical reasons.

He was granted R2,000 bail for the rapes of a 14-year-old girl and another woman aged 18 at the time.

Thubakgale is currently in police holding cells after he was arrested last Monday on other counts of rapes, fraud and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. He was arrested together with five senior members of his church.

The case against Thubakgale's co-accused - siblings Lucky Mafa, 27, and Sophonia Mafa, 37, Tumi Mphela, 31, Moloko Mohlabi, 24, and William Hlaka, 59 - was postponed to Monday where they would apply for bail in the Seshego magistrate's court.

The pastor's case had been postponed to an as-yet-to-be-determined date while the court awaits a certificate from the National Director for Public Prosecutions to categorise the charges against the man of cloth.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed on Sunday  that Thubakgale had requested a postponement for judgment “due to medical reasons”.

“The court has granted the postponement to hand down judgment on Thubakgale in respect of the two counts of rape which were committed in 2012 after he said this was for medical reasons,” said Mojapelo.

He said, however, that investigations were still continuing with regards to the other crimes Thubakgale was alleged to have committed while he was out on bail. His co-accused face charges of fraud and assault.

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