IN what is likely to shake the pillars among the Christian fraternity, a pastor from one of the churches in the Shiselweni region is said to have dangled his manhood and fondled a 15-year-old, squeezing her private parts.
The incident happened on a Sunday, a few hours after the man of God had ministered to his church.
It is said Pastor Percival Nhlabatsi, who is in his late 60s and leader of Philadelphia Church at KaPhunga, arrived at the homestead, where he attempted to rape the 15-year-old minor doing Grade Seven at KaLaMdladla Primary School.
Information gathered is that little *Nombuso (not her real name) was at home with her two younger brothers aged seven and nine when Pastor Nhlabatsi arrived unannounced.
The parents were away to attend another family gathering. They were shocked upon return home when they found their three children crying, with the eldest daughter crying uncontrollably.
It is said Pastor Nhlabatsi, who looks after orphans from the area, claimed to have gone to the homestead to look for an exercise book with a list of the orphans fed at his home. The said exercise book had been lost and was found by the little girl. When the pastor arrived at the homestead, he explained the purpose of the visit and it was then that the little girl went inside the family’s main house (endlini ka-gogo) to fetch the exercise book. However, the pastor followed her and closed the door.
The unsuspecting girl got only curious when Pastor Nhlabatsi made sexual advances and later touching her.
It is reported that the terrified little girl tried to resist as the pastor approached her with his manhood already dangling.
It is said the pastor started romancing the little girl who, it is said tried to warn him against what he wanted to do to her. Even warnings that she would report him to her father fell on deaf ears. It is said the pastor tried to coerce the girl to sleep with him by pledging to reward her with anything she wanted.
The pastor is said to have then touched the girl’s private parts. He allegedly also fondled her buttocks and breasts, and pressed her against the wall. Just when he tried to advance his actions, the girl started screaming. The scream attracted the girl’s two younger brothers, who were playing in the family yard. they rushed to the house. The two found their sister with her head buried between her arms and crying. Their parents found them crying and upon enquiry, the three narrated the whole incident. Without any waste of time, the parents went straight to the police (KaPhunga) to report the incident.
The police investigated the allegations and arrested the pastor last Friday, where he was slapped with an indecent assault charge.
Deputy Police PRO Assistant Supt Stephen Dlamini confirmed the matter. “It is true that a matter of a minor sexually abused by a pastor has been reported.
It is still being investigated in as far as the reports I have received are concerned,” said Assistant Supt Dlamini.