A Limpopo pastor has found himself in hot water after police arrested him in connection with a rape case involving a woman who went to his house for a cleansing ritual.
The 66-year-old suspect from Eldorado Village outside Ga-Maleboho was arrested two months after the incident allegedly took place. Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Malesela Ledwaba said the incident reportedly took place on the night of April 12.
“According to a police report at this stage, the victim allegedly went to perform a spiritual healing at the suspect’s homestead when he asked his clients if there was anyone who needed to perform a steaming ritual, and she volunteered.
“The victim went to the bedroom of the pastor’s son wearing only a blanket and found the room covered with smoke when the suspect emerged and started to rape her,” said Ledwaba.
The colonel said the alleged victim went home without telling anyone what happened until she could no longer handle the trauma.
“After [the incident], the 30-year-old victim left the room while wearing the suspect’s jacket but never reported the ordeal until she suffered a mental breakdown and was diagnosed with depression after she had attempted to commit suicide.”
“The victim was referred to a relevant facility for mental treatment until she subsequently opened up about the rape incident. The matter was reported to the local police on Thursday, 15 June 2023, and transferred to Seshego Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences police unit for further investigations,” Ledwaba said.
“The police’s swift reaction and meticulous efforts resulted in the suspect being apprehended on Sunday 18 June 2023 while at his residence at Eldorado village in Maleboho.”
Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe applauded the police team for handling the matter with the sensitivity it deserved.
The suspect, who cannot be named until he has pleaded to a charge of rape, is expected to appear in the Maleboho Periodical Court soon.