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Woman attempts suicide after being raped allegedly by ‘spiritual leader’ during steaming session

Pretoria – A 66-year-old “spiritual leader” has been arrested in Limpopo in connection with the rape of a 30-year-old woman, who was one of his clients, at his house in Eldorado Village.

According to provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Malesela Ledwaba, the rape allegedly took place around 9:30pm on 12 April.

“According to police report at this stage, the victim allegedly went to perform a spiritual healing at the suspect’s homestead when he (spiritual leader) asked his clients if there is anyone who needed to perform a steaming ritual and she volunteered,” Ledwaba said.

“The victim went to the bedroom of the pastor’s son wearing only a blanket and found the room covered with smoke. The suspect emerged and started to rape her.”

After the alleged rape, police said the 30-year-old woman left the room wearing the spiritual leader’s jacket.

Police said the woman did not report the ordeal until she suffered mental breakdown and was diagnosed with depression.

She later tried to attempt to take her own life.

“The victim was referred to a relevant facility for mental treatment until she subsequently opened up about the rape incident. The matter was reported to the local police on Thursday 15 June 2023 and transferred to Seshego family violence, child protection and sexual offences (FCS) for further investigations,” said Ledwaba.

He said a “swift reaction and meticulous efforts” by the Seshego police officers resulted in the accused man being apprehended on Sunday.

The alleged rapist was found at his residence in Eldorado Village in Maleboho.

Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded the FCS team “for their decisiveness in apprehending the suspect”.

The accused is expected to appear before the Maleboho Periodical Court on Tuesday.

Police investigations continue.

IOL

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