The Senior Pastor of the Soweto branch of the Five Fold Interdenominational Church Outreach Ministries, South Africa, has come under fire after being accused of raping a minor, in what will come across as a shocking development.
On Tuesday, March 2, members of the church allegedly filed a complaint with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious, and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), accusing him of rape and pregnancy with a minor.
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The South African pastor was also accused of inappropriately touching female congregants, a scandal that has split the church.
Despite the fact that no criminal charges have been filed against the pastor, Sowetan reported that church members claimed in their complaint that the South African pastor had been sexually grooming the 14-year-old girl who lived at their Fourways estate home. After she became pregnant, she was reportedly sent back to the East Cape.
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The now 24-year-old woman admitted to being taken advantage of by the pastor when she was in her early teens in a brief interview with Sowetan last week. She stated that she would provide more information after speaking with her lawyer.
The pastor was also accused of having sexual relations with two female members of his congregation, whom he allegedly intended to marry in a polygamous marriage.
“A few years later, after the girl had grown past the legal age limit and returned to live with the family, she continued to have sexual relations with the pastor, and a second baby was born in 2020,” according to the complaint. The second child was born after the pastor paid for a few abortions.
“By the end of 2020, there were mounting allegations of extramarital affairs and a possible polygamous marriage, which the pastor and his wife had agreed to. The pastor’s potential second wife (name withheld) is a congregation member who has been seen and proven to be in a relationship with him, as he himself confessed to [it].”
On the other hand, the pastor’s wife was accused of paying the girl money to keep her quiet.
The pastor was also linked to another church member with whom he allegedly got engaged, according to the congregation. His wife, on the other hand, was informed and allegedly chased the woman out of the church. According to reports, the pastor was forced to resign in January after the church’s executive management intervened.
Puseletso Lukele, deputy chairperson of the parish management committee, told the publication: “I’m not sure how many complaints there are or how many people are affected. Simply put, there are far too many of them.
“We received a lot of complaints from the youth, which we took to the executive committee before going to Gogo (the pastor’s wife). Gogo apologised to the congregation, and the pastor resigned. He was also summoned to an executive meeting, where he expressed regret. [Someone was appointed], but some members of the congregation are opposed to it, causing us to become divided.”
Mpiyakhe Mkholo, a spokesperson for CRL, confirmed that the complaint had been received. The commission has been looking into cases of church abuse, cults, and financial mismanagement. Since last year, they’ve been holding public hearings.
The sex scandal was also brought up in the church’s feedback session last month, where the management committee admitted to knowing about the abuse last year.
“[The parish management committee] was not aware of Baba’s [the pastor] conduct until last year when the youth sent a memo,” according to the meeting minutes.
“Baba’s desire to take isithembu was unknown to [the committee] ( to marry more than one wife). Mama (the pastor’s wife) only told a few people after we were released from lockdown last year. The youth and other concerned people have reported everything we’ve said.”
# Senior Pastor of the Soweto branch