A Pastor of Mpumalanga was sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison for the rape and sexual assault of boys and young men.
Sthembiso Nathaniel Kubheka (38) held revival services in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, where he befriended the victims and lured them on social media platforms to visit him in Vosman, Mpumalanga.
Brig. Police spokesman Leonard Hlathi said by December 2015, Kubheka had won their trust and even promised to do special, private prayers for them. After they arrived at his house, he touched them.
At least five young men, aged between 17 and 23, were victims.
Kubheka was arrested in January 2016 after the police were informed of the assaults and an investigation was launched.
The pastor was convicted in the Witbank Regional Court last week on one charge of rape for which he was sentenced to ten years in prison, as well as four charges of sexual assault for which he was jointly sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The court ruled that Kubheka may not apply for parole on the rape charge and first two charges of sexual assault. Some of the sentences are served concurrently. His name must also be recorded in the register for sex offenders.
Lt.Gen. Mondli Zuma, provincial police chief, welcomed the sentence and praised the victims who were willing to come forward and testify against Kubheka.
“We hope the sentence will deter others from committing the same acts and trust it will bring renewed hope for crime victims,” Zuma said.