Cape Town – A pastor in Mpumalanga has been sentenced to 55 years in prison for sexually abusing eight teenage boys from his congregation over nearly eight years.
John Philani Masilela, aged 46, received 10 years imprisonment for each of four counts of rape and five years imprisonment for each of seven counts of sexual assault.
The abuse occurred between 2012 and 2020 when the victims were between 15 and 20 years old.
“According to the record, the pastor would call his victims to the church and say that he wanted to groom and teach them about manhood. When they came to church, he would tell them to take off their clothes and he would molest them sexually,” Times Live quoted Mpumalanga police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli as saying.
🔴 Mpumalanga Sexual predator jailed for 55 years for raping young boys .
The Kwamhlanga magistrate’s court sentenced Pastor John Philani Masilela to 55 years imprisonment for sexually assaulting boys between 2012 and 2020. ~Timeslive #PastorPhilani #Maphephandaba pic.twitter.com/WiqJ3HhaKp
— MAPHEPHANDABA (The Gossip Club) (@Maphephandaba1) September 5, 2023
He also convinced them to take explicit photos and share them with him.
The matter was reported to the police in May 2020.
“Members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) at Kwamhlanga were assigned to probe these atrocious acts. It was during the investigation when it transpired that six other members of the same church were sexually abused by him as well. Additional cases from the other victims were then added against the accused as the victims came forward. Thanks to the boy who took the brave step to come forward encouraged his fellow peers to also break their silence about their ordeal,” Mdhluli said in a statement.
Masilela was arrested and charged with multiple counts of rape, sexual assault, and child pornography.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu