Pastor charged with kidnapping, rape

By Confidente Reporter

A 39-year-old lay preacher of the Holy Ghost Fire congregation in Walvis Bay was arrested last week on charges of kidnapping a minor, who was later found in Windhoek. He is also suspected of having sexually violated the minor.

The police had been on the hunt for the so-called pastor Marvin Damaseb since 4 November.

Police deputy commissioner Erastus Iikuyu sent out a statement last week calling on members of the public to help trace the whereabouts of Damaseb after news surfaced that he had taken a 13-year-old girl from a primary school in Kuisebmond without the consent of her parents.

The child’s mother had reported her daughter missing last Monday, after it emerged that passersby had seen the child in the company of the suspect.

Ikuyu said the pastor of Holy Ghost Fire Ministry unlawfully and intentionally deprived his victim, the 13-year-old learner, who attends school in Walvis Bay, of her freedom of movement and deprived her custodians of parental control.

It was subsequently reported this week that a charge of rape had been added to Damaseb charge sheet, after he was tracked down and the child rescued.

Informants had told the police that they saw Damaseb with the learner last week. It was further alleged that he held her captive by locking her into a house at Kuisebmond, before taking her to Windhoek, where they were later seen.

The police said the child victim was taken to a place of shelter in Windhoek after the suspect was apprehended in Windhoek on 8 November. Damaseb was taken in after an extensive manhunt; and after a brief hearing on the warrant for his arrest was transferred to Walvis Bay, where he faced Magistrate Rhivermo Williams on Monday.

Wakundomo Fidel, the state prosecutor at Walvis Bay said a rape charge would be added to the charge of kidnapping, and opposed releasing the preacher on bail. The matter was then postponed. The case of the wayward pastor Damaseb will next be heard on January 22. Damaseb remains in custody. Despite the seriousness of the charges, the rape accused said he would conduct his own defense.

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