Rape scandal rocks Charis Missionary Ministries church

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Charis Missionary Ministries church, led by Apostle Jerry "JB" Makananisa, has been rocked by a rape scandal.

Sunday World can reveal that Makananisa's two right-hand men, who are also prophets, allegedly raped a fellow congregant on three separate occasions last year.

The two prophets, who cannot be named for legal reasons, have since joined Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's church, Enlightened Christian Gathering.

The victim opened three cases of rape at the Tembisa police station last year.

Police spokesman Kay Makhubele confirmed that cases were opened and investigations were under way.

Relating her ordeals, she said she was first raped by one of the men after she went to the church building to clean it.

"He phoned me when I was busy cleaning and said he wanted to talk to me. I left my handbag behind and went to his car and we drove off to my room in Tembisa after he insisted we go there.

"When we arrived there, he said there were too many tenants there who would suspect we were having an affair and that would dent his reputation because he was a respected man of God," she said.

She said he then drove with her to his room in the same township, where he allegedly raped her. "When we arrived there he sat on his bed and I sat on a bucket that was in his room and we started talking about general things.

"He then stood up and pushed me onto his bed, undressed me and raped me once without using a condom. When I tried to scream, he put his hand on my mouth to drown my screams.

"When he was done raping me, he ordered me to go [take a] bath and threatened to kill me if I breathed a word to anyone about what he had done."

The victim further alleged that the same suspect raped her for the second time at the same room after a few weeks.

"When there, he raped me again and gave me money to buy [ a] morning-after pill and to do HIV tests," she said.

She alleged the second man raped her in June last year.

"He told me that there were people who wanted to offer me a job and said we should meet them at a park next to where he lives in Clayville."

When the people failed to pitch the man took her to his house for a meal as he indicated that he was hungry. Despite asking to remain in the car, the prophet insisted she came with him to his room.

The woman said she entered the room and sat on the bed and watched television, but shortly thereafter he pounced on her from behind.

"He lifted me from behind and violently pushed me onto the bed and raped me without a condom. He then ordered me to shower and gave me money to buy a morning-after pill."

After the rape by the second prophet, the victim said she confided in another congregant who encouraged her to talk to Apostle Makananisa and to also open rape cases.

" I opened the cases but I feel the police are failing me because to date these guys have not been arrested and I fear for my life because they are still roaming the streets," she said.

Bushiri's lawyer Ntsako Baloyi declined to comment.

Makananisa's spokesman Freddie Hlongwane confirmed the apostle encouraged the victim to open the cases.

He said Makananisa had previously reprimanded the pair from having love affairs with women in the church.

However, Hlongwane said the two were not excommunicated from the church but just disappeared and the apostle never made any follow-ups about their whereabouts.

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