Katutura Pastor in Custody for Rape

POLICE have arrested a Katutura pastor in connection with the rape of a 14-year-old epileptic girl sent to him for healing.

The pastor, who belongs to St Joseph Star Church, was still in custody by late yesterday after he handed himself over at the Katutura Police Station on Monday.

He handed himself over after a warrant for his arrest had been issued when the police failed to find him at his church. The pastor, who is in his early 40s, was accompanied by his father and other family members when he handed himself over.

Katutura Police station commander Chief Inspector Ismael Basson confirmed the arrest, saying the pastor is yet to be charged.

“He is in custody. The Women and Child Protection Unit should charge him. It must be done within the first 48 hours of his arrest,” Basson said.

The Namibian spoke to the girl’s guardian who expressed disappointment and anger with the pastor, saying the family trusted him to heal the child.

“My niece is an epileptic and is traumatised. Her father works out of town.

Her mother passed away long ago. Since her epilepsy was a concern to us, we sent her to the pastor for prayers. The pastor suggested that my niece and her sister should stay at the church because he would pray for them and wash them at odd hours,” she said.

The guardian also said the girl told her that the pastor raped her on different days during the three weeks they stayed at the church.

According to the guardian, the girl told her that the pastor said she was his wife because her family had given her to him.

“How can someone do that to a vulnerable child like her? We trusted him but he threatened her, telling her he will not heal her and that she will die if she told anyone about the rape,” she said.

The guardian further said her niece’s situation has worsened and that she now suffers attacks three times a day.

A social worker from the Women and Child Protection Unit told the pastor’s family what he was accused of and that he would only appear in court once he is charged.

The pastor’s father said: “Nothing is final. He is just being accused. So we will wait for the law to take its course. For now there is nothing I can say.”

The Women and Child Protection Unit said the pastor is expected to appear in court today.

Source : The Namibian