The Culcutta Magistrate’s Court in Mkhuhlu, outside Hazyview in Mpumalanga, has again postponed the rape case against a local pastor. Pastor Abednigo Mongwe (28), is accused of raping a 15-year old girl, who is a member of his church. But his congregants are adamant that Mongwe is not guilty.

They claim that the allegations are spread by people, who are against the church.

The Prophetic Ministry Church is situated in Mkhuhlu village on the R 536 road. It was established by Pastor Abednigo Mongwe in 2014.

His followers claim that the church has been receiving attacks from members of the community since 2015. The congregants have dismissed the allegations leveled against their pastor.

Another pastor of the church, David Genaro says the charges are a result of a “war” in the church. “There has been physical and spiritual war since the establishment of the church. The case is not opened by the child but the parents and the people behind the plot are the ones who opened the case.”

About 500 people chanted slogans outside the Culcutta Magistrate’s Court. The protesters were divided into two groups. A group of angry residents say Mongwe shouldn’t be granted bail. But, the group that supports Mongwe carried placards written “hands off our prophet.”  They believe that Mongwe is not guilty.

The case against Mongwe was postponed because his lawyer was not in court. He will appear again in court on Monday for a bail application.

Mpumalanga Police spokesperson, Leonard Hlathi says investigation is underway regarding other allegations of rape levelled at Mongwe.