Swakopmund-based pastor and founder of Tongues of Fire Ministry who is accused of kidnapping and raping members of his congregation is fighting tooth and nail to be released on bail.
Sackeus Paulus (34) is currently in the High Court in an attempt to convince the court that the Swakopmund Regional Court erred when it refused to release him on bail on two occasions.
In his appeal, Paulus said magistrate Nelao Brown misdirected herself when she said he failed to produce new facts as grounds for the second bail application.
The father of two claims Brown failed to conduct a proper inquiry when she disregarded his personal circumstances and the effects of his incarceration on him and his family.
“The learned magistrate failed to conduct a fair and impartial bail hearing in view of the numerous unwarranted statements indicative of a pre-mediation as to the guilt of the appellant the part of the court a quo, which materially influenced the court,” said Paulus.
He is asking the High Court to grant him bail in the amount of N$3 000 or any other amount that the court may deem appropriate and fair.
Magistrate Brown refused to release Paulus on bail because evidence indicates that he directed some church followers to entice the complainants to withdraw the charges against him.
The court was of the view that Paulus’ interference with the witnesses was a serious matter as some of the witnesses have since become uncooperative and have refused to give statements. The followers allegedly offered one of the complainants N$13 000 to withdraw the case.
Brown said although there is no evidence that Paulus will abscond, it would not be in the interest of the public nor the administration of justice to release him on bail pending the finalisation of his case.
Paulus is facing two counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, a count of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm, and a count of common assault. The incidents allegedly occurred between 2018 and
For the first complainant, the State alleges the offences started in 2017 when she joined the church. At the time, the complainant was 18 years old. The alleged offences started after she confessed to Paulus about her guilt of having sexual relations while not married. Paulus allegedly told her that she needed deliverance as a “seed of fornication” was in her stomach.
Paulus allegedly took the complainant to an isolated dark space in DRC and ordered her to undress and disembark from the car. Paulus drove off, leaving the naked complainant in the dark alone. He returned after a while and told her that he needed to remove the “seed of fornication” so she does not become a prostitute. It could only be removed by having sexual relations. After the act, Paulus allegedly prayed for her and told her as her spiritual father, he had a right to beat her.
He also ordered the complainant to rub her stomach to rid of the “seed”.
On a separate occasion, Paulus told the complainant he foresaw a “terrible battle” coming her way and she needed deliverance. Thus, he forcefully locked her up for two weeks and was only rescued when one of the congregants reported the matter to the police.
Pertaining to the second complainant, who at the time was 21 years old, she was allegedly called by Paulus for a one-on-one consultation. He informed her that he sensed something moving in her stomach and thus had a “spirit of lust, seduction, and prostitution”.
He allegedly raped her in order to deliver her from the spirit.
After the incident, Paulus would occasionally demand to have sex with her against her will. The complainant asked Paulus to stop by threatening to report him. However, he allegedly said he will kill her and will turn the allegations against her. Furthermore, his followers would believe him and not her.
Paulus has since denied all the allegations levelled against him. He said he does not have sexual relations with members of his church. Appeal judges, Christie Liebenberg and Herman January will give a ruling on 23 September.
Paulus is represented by Salomon Kanyemba, while Mwendekwa Muhongo is with the State.