Relentless community wins first victory against powerful pastor

Zukile Majova

A rural community that has been opposing bail for popular EmaXesibeni Pastor Vizicelo Phakade tasted victory on Monday when the court denied him bail.

He is charged with raping a 16-year-old school girl from Sugarbush village outside Mount Ayliff in the Eastern Cape.

Magistrate Gcinabantu Jubase rejected claims by Phakade that he should be released because he is diabetic.

He said no medical evidence was presented to support this claim, adding that the medical condition is not enough to justify releasing him.

The magistrate said even a change of address does not guarantee the safety of witnesses or that a rich man like Phakade would not abscond and fail to appear in future court proceedings.

Phakade is due back in court on 28 February.


Family spokesperson Reverend Hlongwana of the Mount Frere Circuit of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa said the family was pleased with the outcome.

“We know it is going to be a long road but we are pleased with the court ruling.

“It was our appeal to the court that an example must be made so that other would-be rapists will know that we are tired of rape.

“There are also two more cases of rape against him from two ladies who were scared to report him until the latest incident was reported.”

A member of the community Mawande Mphithi said the community remains very angry and is determined to return in big numbers to the court next month.

The community of Sugarbush has also closed Phakade’s God’s Power Community Church and chased congregants away.

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