Wife of pastor convicted of rape in hiding after threats

Pastor James Thubakgale has been found guilty of raping two girls./ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Pastor James Thubakgale has been found guilty of raping two girls./ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The wife of a Limpopo pastor convicted on two counts of rape has gone into hiding after she allegedly received death threats.

Pastor James Thubakgale, 57, of the Deliverance Church of Christ in Seshego, Polokwane, was this year convicted of raping two minors aged 12 and 14 in Polokwane in 2012. He has been unable to raise R200,000 for bail for his freedom.

According to a police source, Thubakgale's wife who is looking after the couple's businesses including a farm, minibus taxis and other properties, received death threats after she refused to sell some of the assets in order to pay bail for her husband.

"Last week she went to the Seshego police station and made a sworn affidavit, stating that she was receiving death threats because she is refusing to bail her husband out.

"She, however, refused to open a case and said she was going to protect herself because she wants to run the businesses," said a police officer.

The source added that the woman was advised by police to open a case of intimidation but she refused.

"She said she doesn't want to be placed under witness protection as no one will take care of the businesses," said the cop.

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the woman had lodged a complaint and made a written affidavit.

"At the moment it is not clear why the case wasn't opened and we will launch an investigation regarding that," he said.

Thubakgale was in August granted R200,000 bail in the Mankweng magistrate's court but failed to raise the money. The man of the cloth will be sentenced in March 23 next year for raping the two minors.

When the Sowetan visited the church headquarters in Seshego yesterday, we found that the church's name, which had been inscribed on the building, has been removed.

The embattled pastor is also facing several other charges of crimes committed in Seshego for which he is out on bail.

Thubakgale and five other church members are facing multiple charges for crimes committed in the area including assault.

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