Supporters of 'rapist' pastor flood court precinct for bail hearing

Pastor James Thubakgale appeared in the Seshego magistrate's court to face rape, assault and fraud charges.
Pastor James Thubakgale appeared in the Seshego magistrate's court to face rape, assault and fraud charges.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The supporters of controversial Seshego pastor James Thubakgale on Wednesday came out in large numbers to support the man of the cloth who was applying for bail at the Seshego magistrate's court.

Chanting and singing outside court, they outnumbered those who opposed bail, including members of the DA, the ANC and the EFF.

Meanwhile police had their hands full guarding the entrance to the court building and making sure that violence did not erupt between the two groups.

Thubakgale, 57, was arrested on February 11 and charged with five counts of rape, one of fraud and five of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

His five co-accused, who are senior members of the church, have been released on R1,000 bail each on a charge of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The victims are all members of his Devine Deliverance Church of Christ in Seshego.

As the singing continued outside, Thubakgale had not taken the stand in a packed courtroom as magistrate Michael Mamabolo was still dealing with the postponement of other cases before resuming with Thubakgale's application for bail.

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