Second pastor charged with rape, kidnapping

By Confidente Reporter

Asecond pastor at the coast has been taken into custody and charged with kidnapping and rape in as many weeks. The police in the Erongo region confirmed on Sunday that one Pastor Paulus Sakeus Panduleni had been arrested for allegedly holding a woman captive in his house and repeatedly raping her over a three-week period.

“It is alleged that the victim and suspect were attending the same church (Burning Fire Ministries). He informed the victim that she needs deliverance, he then had sexual acts with the victim on numerous occasions under forced circumstances. The suspect assaulted the victim with an open [hand] on several occasions and had sexual acts with her.”

The police said the sexual assaults, coupled with physical assaults against the 21-year-old victim (an unemployed woman from Matutura, Mondesa) occurred between February and May this year at the DRC and in Mondesa, Swakopmund, as well as Henties Bay and Walvis Bay.

Pastor Panduleni faces a second set of charges involving rape, kidnapping and common assault in relation to a second victim, also a 21-year-old churchgoer, who has come forward. It is alleged that the second victim was raped by the pastor on several occasions between 2017 and January 2019 at DRC, Ocean View in Swakopmund, as well as Henties Bay and Walvis Bay.

In the second case, it is also alleged that the victim and the suspect were attending the same church. He apparently also told the victim that she needs “deliverance”. He then had sex with the church congregant under coercive circumstances on numerous occasions.

It is understood that the “pastor” had locked his victim into his room for two weeks and four days at one stage and threatened that he would harm her if she tried to escape. He allegedly also beat his victim with a belt on several occasions and had sexual acts with her without her consent.

He was denied bail on Monday this week and the case was postponed to 29 January 2020.

In another reported sex-crime over the weekend, three young males, aged 16, 18 and 19 years old, were arrested at Omdel in Henties Bay on charges of rape. It was reported that they had sexually assaulted a 16-year-old learner, who had gone to a local beauty pageant on Saturday night, “but she ended up consuming alcohol with the boys/suspects,” the police said.

“The suspects took her to one of their ghetto while she was heavily intoxicated and gang-raped her.”

The latest incidents of sex-crime follow on the arrest two weeks ago of another so-called pastor, Marvin Damaseb of the Holy Ghost Fire congregation, who was taken in for the kidnapping and rape of a minor girl at Kuisebmond.

The 39-year-old lay preacher from Walvis Bay was arrested following a manhunt for the so-called pastor since 4 November 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 recently after it emerged that passers-by had seen the child in the company of the suspect. The police 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.

A charge of rape was added to the kidnapping charge, after Damaseb was tracked down in Windhoek and the child rescued. Informants had said they saw Damaseb with the learner last week. It was further alleged that he had held her captive by locking her into a house at Kuisebmond, before abducting her to Windhoek, where they were later found.

The pastor was remanded in custody last Monday after Magistrate Rhivermo Williams postponed his case to 22 January. Despite the seriousness of the charges, Damaseb said he would conduct his own defense.

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