News 24.7.2017 02:53 pm

Praying prophet arrested for alleged sexual abuse

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The suspect took them to the bush under the pretext that he was going to pray for her. He instructed the boyfriend to go back along the way and raped the woman.

A 52-year-old man who is alleged to have sexually abused a 20-year-old woman under the pretence of being a prophet at Oakley Trust near Mkhuhlu was arrested last Tuesday.

According to police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe the woman was ill and sought help from the “prophet” on Monday. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, Lowvelder reported.

The suspect took them to the bush under the pretext that he was going to pray for her. He instructed the boyfriend to go back along the way and raped the woman.

The matter was reported to the police and the man arrested. He was to appear in the Mkhuhlu Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday on a charge of rape. At the time of going to press, the outcome was not yet known.

The police in Mpumalanga warned that it was not an isolated incident. “Several cases have been registered in the province wherein women were raped under the same modus operandi,” said Sedibe.

As recently as May, a similar incident was reported in Acornhoek. Police explained that men pretending to be prophets or pastors took women to secluded areas and ordered them to undress so they could pray for them.

They encouraged victims to come forward and report such incidents. Brigadier Leonard Hlathi has called on faith-based organisations to stand together and root out so-called prophets who committed crimes while hiding behind religion.

The provincial commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma recently recommitted the police to work hard to reduce crimes against women and children.

Caxton News Service

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