North West Premier Thandi Modise has called on women and girl children to be aware of wolfs in sheepskins. This follows the arrest of a 29-year-old pastors for raping a 17-year-old girl in Phokeng near Rustenburg on Tuesday.
"We are deeply shocked and concerned that the scourge of rape which has in recent months been a plague in our streets and homes now claims among perpetrators those associated with an institution that we consider sacred and those who are supposed to offer spiritual counselling to victims of sexual offences," said Premier Modise.
The Premier comments the vigilance of members of the community who alerted police of their suspicion after they saw the pastor driving into bushes with the girl who was in her school uniform. Modise cautions women and girls not accept lifts from strangers or leave their girl children no matter how small with male strangers even in their homes.
According to police, the pastor had been visiting the Perish for a church crusade in Phokeng for the past week. He is said to have prayed for the girl during services and fetched her and her friends to held him clean the church premises at night. On Tuesday, he purportedly offered her a lift to school, which she accepted.
"Instead of driving to school, the suspect turned to the nearby bushes where he allegedly raped the victim," said Brigadier Thulane Ngubane spokesperson of the North West Police. Ngubane said that the suspect was arrested by police who followed the direction... and they found the pastor sexually assaulting the young teenager in her innocent school uniform."
The pastor would appear in the Bafokeng Magistrate's Court on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Premier Modise condemned the rape of a 7-year-old girl in Phunong section in Ganyesa Village and called on the community to assist police with information that might lead to the arrest the perpetrator.
In her reaction to this incident, the Premier supported the proposed special offences courts for sexual offences mooted by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development particularly where there are high incidents.
Modise reiterated her earlier call for united action against the scourge of rape and for efforts to protect women and children against sexual offences to be intensified. The incident was confirmed within hours of the Premier calling strategies for the prevention of sexual offenses against women and girl children to be reviewed to curb escalating incidents of rape.
According to police, the child was raped by an unknown man while playing alone at a nearby park on Saturday. Captain Amanda Funani said that the girl's grandmother had noticed that she was struggling to walk and told her grandmother about the rape when she questioned her.
The child was taken to a local hospital, where a doctor confirmed that she had been raped. Although a case was opened on Sunday afternoon, no one had been arrested by Tuesday morning.
Issued by: North West Provincial Government