A pastor in KwaZulu-Natal has been arrested for allegedly raping more than 13 children between the ages of five and 17 in Luvisi village in ward 13 of Nquthu Local municipality, in the northern part of the province.
Nonhlanhla Khoza, the KZN social development MEC said on Thursday the pastor allegedly lured young girls and boys to watch cartoons and later pornographic videos.
It is alleged he started molesting children in 2021 with the last incident on September 2018.
The 56-year-old pastor was allegedly caught when a boy reported the matter to his mother and provided details of the other victims- 11 boys and two girls.
The victim’s mother verified the information with other victims before reporting it to the local police.
Khoza condemned the alleged rape and abuse by the pastor, a leader who was trusted by people in the village.
“We call on parents and communities to be extra-vigilant and pay more attention to their children. These children constantly visited the reverend after school because they were manipulated,” said Khoza.
She lauded the parent who noticed that something was not well with her son, which resulted in more children being found and the abused being uncovered.
“We are calling on communities to support victims and their parents to build solid cases and bring the perpetrators to book. Child abuse and rape have no place in our society.
“We call on all men, women and children to stand up and make their voices heard. We cannot keep silent while our children suffer at the hands of people who are supposed to protect them. We need to work together and end these acts against children,” she said.
A team of social workers were sent to give the victims and the families the necessary support they needed.
“People like this one must be jailed for a long time and the law-enforcement agencies need to close all the loopholes in the cases. The man must not get bail as he is a danger to society.”
The pastor will be appearing in court soon.
Source: The South African, IOL, Sowetan Live, Times Live, image from Twitter: SAPS