Please note that there was an error when this article was published. This came to our attention when our readers questioned its accuracy. Reports indicate that the girl is a 16-year old teenager, not a toddler. It is our policy not to delete articles that have factual errors because other publishers may already have cited them. We would like to thank our readers for their feedback. Below is the original unedited article (with the error):
Smanga Kumalo— Hundreds of protesters demonstrated outside the Sebokeng magistrate court yesterday after the high ranking reverend of the River of Living Waters Ministries Ntsiki Phoswa (36) appeared before the magistrate Nelson Mokwantla.
Phoswa allegedly kidnapped a 16-month-old toddler before raping and dumping her in the Vereeniging mortuary thinking that she was dead. He was arrested at the church last week Thursday after the girl pointed him. According to the police, Phoswa kidnapped the toddler at Zone 12 Sebokeng on September 01, before raping her.
Apparently, after raping her, she lost her consciousness and they drove her to Vereeniging mortuary and placed her in the mortuary fridge. After three days she regained her consciousness and escaped from the mortuary and ran to a local clinic were her aunt was called. Sebokeng police spokeperson, Captain Bheki Thwala told Sowetan that the girl gained consciousness after three days and she escaped from the fridge.
“The girl was gang raped after she was kidnapped and we are still busy with the investigations. Two suspects are still at large and we believe we will make other arrests soon,” he said. Thwala said the child was then taken for DNA tests and the police are still waiting for the results. But the blood of the suspect has not yet been taken. She is a member of River of Living Waters Ministries.
Hundreds of people, some of whom were not from Evaton, appeared to have arrived before 08: 00 from surrounding areas. Some of the River of Living Waters Ministries congregates were there to support Phoswa. The police were there to maintain order among the protesters. The community members and Thetha FM listeners were chanting, singing slogans and carrying placards that read: WHY YOU RAPE A CHILD WHEN SHE SPEAKS THE TRUTH”. Others read “NO BAIL FOR RAPIST”.
The protests were triggered by rumours that the church was satanic and those children were being kidnapped by the church leaders. In the court, Mokwantla asked Phoswa to reveal his previous or pending cases before the court. “Be honest before the court because if the court of law finds out that you are having outstanding matters you’ll be fined R40 000 or two years imprisonment,” explained Mokwantla.
Mokwantla, added by saying the state is still waiting for the DNA test from Pretoria. The public prosecutor, Kgmotso Mathebe told the court that Phoswa allegedly raped the child at his (Phoswa) place. Mokwantla ordered investigation officer to go to Pretoria to collect the DNA test. “I appeal to the investigating officer to use the state resource and go and collect those DNA test (results) because we won’t wait for four weeks. Even the DNA test of President Jacob Zuma took only three days when he was accused of raping,” Mokwantla concluded.
A protester, who didn’t want to reveal her name, said Phoswa and Stephen Bafana Zondo want to kill the girl because she went to a local station and told the presenter of local radio station that Zondo used her for satanic practice. In March this year community members protested at the River of Living Waters Ministries after presenters on Thetha FM community radio station Pitso Motubedi and Seth “Mokoto” Bokwa brought into the studio people who claimed they were devil worshipers and were serving Zondo, prophet Paseka ‘Mbhoro” Motsoeng and apostle Simon Mokoena of the Tirana church.
Meanwhile Thoko Tshabalala, who cried uncontrollably outside the court, told the Public News Hub that her granddaughter Mapule Seapamore was also missing. “I am searching for my child who is also missing and she is nowhere to be found. Mapule is also a friend with this victim and I believed they use them for satanic purposes. They target these underprivileged (children) or orphans and use them,” she sobbed.