A South African preacher from one of the largest churches in the country appeared in the Grahamstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday for allegedly raping a 12-year-old.
The man cannot be named until he pleads, because he faces a rape charge, which involves a minor.
Magistrate Sarel Strauss referred the 53-year-old for psychiatric evaluation – and postponed the case to Wednesday (today).
The man was arrested on February 23, 2023, after he was allegedly caught by a relative raping the girl inside a toilet of her home.
The accused is known to the victim, as he is the foster mother’s friend. They attend the same church.
Outside court, a children’s rights activist, Petros Majola picketed and called for no bail.
Majola said he was in disbelief that members of the girl’s church did not show up in court – and that the church had not issued a statement to condemn the alleged incident.
“I also expected them to come out in numbers in support of the victim. Their silence is shocking. They are not distancing themselves [from the accused] or openly showing support to the victim,” Majola said.
According to the charge sheet, the accused is facing a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.