Bishop Stephen Zondo of the Rivers of Living Waters Ministries preaches in Evaton outside Joburg. Zondo has confirmed that the police have approached him regarding the allegations.
Bishop Stephen Zondo of Rivers of Living Waters Ministries is accused of two counts of rape and another of s.e.xual assault by female former church members.
The cases were opened with police but the women were surprised when these cases were withdrawn at Evaton magistrate’s court on allegations that they no longer wished to proceed with the cases. This led to them registering complaints with the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission).
CRL Rights Commission chairman Professor David Mosoma confirmed the members, who cannot be named, have reported the cases to them.
“Yes, I can confirm that we have received such complaints but I have referred them to our legal mind, advocate Kgositoi Sedupane. Please speak to him,” Mosoma said.
Sedupane also confirmed that the members have reported the cases to the commission.
He said he has written a letter to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate requesting them to investigate the conduct of the investigating officer.
“That is with regard to one matter. The other two matters, I have written to the provincial police commissioner [Elias Mawela] to intervene. We are waiting for their responses in those matters.”
Sedupane also said that they held a meeting a fortnight ago and resolved to arrange a meeting with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to discuss them. “That meeting should take place in the next few weeks.”
NPA South Gauteng spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane confirmed that the NPA declined to prosecute as there is no prospect of success.
“The complainants, if dissatisfied with the prosecutor’s decision, can lodge representations to the office of the chief prosecutor in the Vaal Rand district,”
The victims couldn’t be reached for comment at the time of going to press.
But Sunday World is in possession of the police statements of one of the alleged rape victims and s.e.xual assault victims.
In the statements, the alleged rape victim said Zondo invited her to his office in June 2013.
She said she sat on the couch and he then prayed for her and she fell down.
She said he then took off her T-shirt and when she asked him what he was doing, he said he was praying for her. She claims the bishop then overpowered and raped her while she tried to resist his s.e.xual advances. He then got up and went to the bathroom in the office.
“He then told her he is Bishop Zondo and if she tells anyone, they won’t believe her,” reads the statement.
The police statement said the s.e.xual assault victim alleged that Zondo s.e.xually assaulted her in his office in 2016.
“She sat on the couch in the office and he began to pray for her. She then fell down while he was praying. Then after a few minutes, she stood up and sat on the couch. He then came towards her [and] placed his pen!s inside her mouth…” reads the statement.
Zondo said he was not aware that the alleged victims have reported the matter to the CRL Rights Commission but confirmed he was questioned by the police over the cases.
“I do not know anything about some of the allegations and procedures you have outlined in the questions you have sent to me. I am aware of the allegations made against me and I can state it on record that I know nothing about them. I can only confirm that police officials approached me regarding the allegations. In this interaction with the police, they mentioned that further investigations will be conducted.
“To date nothing has come to my attention regarding this matter from the police,” he said.
He then came towards her [and] placed his penis inside her mouth.
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