The community of Duduza in Nigel, on the East Rand, came together to rid itself of what they call a ‘corrupt’ church, African Reporter reports.
This occurred after a number of teenage girls came forward to report allegations of rape against the bishop.
The 52-year-old man pleaded not guilty to the rape charge early last year after he was arrested in November 2016.
He was out on R3 000 bail.
It is alleged that the sexual relationship began when the victim, who was a congregant at his church, was 15 years old.
Speaking outside the court after his last appearance, the victim’s mother said: “I trusted this man with everything. He has really hurt my family and me so deeply. We have been in and out of court all year.”
Judgement in the case is set for June 28.
Last Friday, the bishop was denied bail at the Springs Magistrates’ Court, after another girl laid a complaint against him on May 27.
The angry community member says they do not want the church where they live anyone.
“Many people in the church knew that this was happening and they still protected him.
“Now we don’t want them here anymore,” says Moses Dube*.
Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters mediated talks between the community and the leadership of the church.
“We spoke to the leaders, and they have asked for grace to gather enough people to dismantle the structure.
“We ask the community to give them time to do this,” says Lucky Mdlalose of the EFF.
But the angry residents did not back down.
They threatened to destroy the building themselves.
Eventually, the members of the church gathered enough people to help them take the church down.
“I am happy that we were able to stand together as a community.
“Now we must support these girls and their families until we get justice,” adds Charles Maba*.
Mdlalose also encourages women and children to speak out and to get help if they are in abusive environments.
“Many of you are sitting with dangerous secrets that are killing you.
“Please seek help, we are here for you.”
* names have been changed to protect the identity of the sources.