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SDA pastor 'forces' himself on married congregant

by Bruce Ndlovu / Gibson Mhaka
12 Jul 2016 at 12:28hrs | Views
A pastor with the Bulawayo City Centre Adventist Church is at the centre of a sexual abuse storm following revelations that he allegedly attempted to force himself on a married congregant who is also a senior lawyer in the city.

Pastor Brighton Ndebele allegedly cornered the lawyer, who is also married to a prominent legal practitioner, after a meeting in April in her office.

It is alleged that on the day in question, Pastor Ndebele tried to have his way with her, but abandoned his vigorous sexual advances after the lawyer, whose name is being withheld for legal reasons repelled his attack.

As if that was not enough, Pastor Ndebele, who is married, went on to send suggestive text messages to the lawyer last week, allegedly soliciting for sex despite the lawyer's protestations.

According to a source privy to the goings on at the church, the lawyer, after having decided to not press charges, decided to go ahead and bring the matter to the authorities after the church had declined to punish the pastor for his actions.

The source said the matter was being handled by the police and the pastor was expected to appear in court soon.

"In April this year the pastor is said to have called the lawyer, and told her that the church needed more food for the Family Life crusade which was hosting a guest speaker from South Africa as the church budget was thin. The lawyer had agreed to his request and he had gone to see her and they had agreed that she would look into the issue as she is in charge of a committee tasked with looking at such things.

"However, when he was about to leave the pastor asked for a hug from the lawyer who turned down his request. The pastor then decided to take matters into his own hands, grabbing her hand and dragging her by the waist. He then allegedly grabbed her buttocks and pressed her to his chest before she wriggled free," the source said.

According to the source, the lawyer had told the pastor that she would lay charges and report him to church elders, but he had reportedly smirked and said that the charges would not stick as it was her word against his while the church would support him as he apparently said it was something that all church pastors did.

After consultation with a church couple who are close to her, her husband and sister, the lawyer decided not to press charges as it would only drag her name through the mud while she also had little evidence to support her allegations.

However, things came to a head on 14 June when the pastor sent the lawyer raunchy messages, which B-Metro is in possession of, suggesting that he wanted an encore performance.

This had allegedly tipped the lawyer over the edge, as she decided to take the matter to church elders.

However, to her horror the church elders only gave the pastor a slap on the wrist, suggesting that he should be forgiven for his indiscretions as he regretted his actions.

"The lawyer and her husband did not receive the apology directly but had been told by other pastors that they should forgive and forget as Ndebele had shown remorse," the source said.

The source said whispers in the church are that the pastor is a notorious womaniser, who had acquired a reputation in Esigodini, where he used to preach, as a sex pest.

"As a lawyer she felt that if she did not report him he would continue getting away with it. How many women has he abused in that manner?" added the source.

The lawyer, infuriated by the church's inaction, had this week decided to lay charges against the pastor.

Called for comment, the lawyer, although confirming the incident, said she was not at liberty to comment as the matter was still yet to come before the courts.

"I wouldn't like to jeopardise the work of judicial officers by pre-emptively speaking on a case that they're yet to decide on," she said.

Pastor Ndebele, when reached for comment said:  "The allegations are not true. I think she fabricated them to fix me since she is having problems with her husband and I was shocked when I discovered that she had reported the matter to the police," he said.

Turning to the raunchy messages he said: "We have been chatting as friends and I did not have intention of soliciting for sex from her."

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Source - B-Metro
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