The Limpopo High Court in Polokwane found a 58-year-old man, James Devine Thubakgale guilty on three counts of rape, common assault and calling a person a witch.
It is alleged that Pastor Thubakgale of Devine Deliverance Church based at Seshego,Limpopo, presented himself to his congregants as a powerful man of God, who was able to heal the sick and cast away the devil and that he has been sent to this world to save them.
“He would command to be called a Judge as he is going to be a Judge with God at the end of the world.”Said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Malabi Dzhangi.
“He would demand that congregants must bring all their monies to church and even their retirements savings The congregants in his church respected, obeyed and took orders from him as they believed that he was part of the holy trinity and was closest to God. Whatever he wanted from his congregants, they would do for him. He would target young girls who were under 16 years of age.” Explained Dzhangi.
The victims believed that the accused was telling them the truth and they fulfil as they were promised that they would see heaven. Pastor Thubakgale continued with his reign of terror without the complainants reporting the incident to the authorities in fear of sickness and death from 2010 until 2017.
Judge Muller found Thubakgale guilty. The case was postponed to 24 March 2021 for sentencing.