Bishop Roxley Masevhe (second from left) was welcomed by some bishops and pastors on his release on bail on Thursday, 1 February. Photo: Thembi Siaga.
Bishops and pastors from around Vhembe, who have been actively supporting the incarcerated Bishop Roxley Masevhe, savoured a small victory when he was released on bail at last on Thursday, 1 February.
Masevhe had been applying for bail since his arrest on 8 January this year when he was charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl. The Thohoyandou Magistrate’s Court granted him bail of R20,000, with stringent conditions. Among the conditions is that he can have no contact with the victim or her mother. He is not allowed to interfere with witnesses whatsoever and must report at the Sibasa Correctional Centre every last Friday of the month. He was further ordered to surrender all travelling documents and is forbidden to apply for new ones.
Right after bail was granted, the supporting bishops, who had been in court every step of the way since the case started, had an impromptu meeting outside the courtroom and the bail money was raised, marking the end of the fallen bishop’s month-long incarceration. He was warmly welcomed by the bishops and pastors.
Pastor Piet Nemudzivhadi, who publicly supported Masevhe from day one of his arrest, said he was happy that Masevhe was finally free. “I have been framed in this manner, but it was later found that I was not guilty of committing the rape. I know how painful it is to be framed and arrested for something one did not do. We have been consistent in saying that Bishop Masevhe is not guilty, and we know the truth shall come out sooner rather than later,” he said.
The granting of bail was, however, not received well by everyone. Ms Thelma Marole, a senior member of the DA in Vhembe and member of the Vhembe Combined Group, who has also been attending all the court hearings since Masevhe’s arrest, said they had reservations about the bishop’s being granted bail. “We have mixed feelings about this bail. We are not saying the bishop is guilty, but we are here to give support to the victim and her family. We are here to see to it that the case goes well, and justice is served. We hope the bishop will adhere to the conditions stipulated for justice to prevail,” she said.
Masevhe is facing 11 counts of rape that were allegedly committed from January 2023, at different locations, until January this year. His case was postponed to 15 April.
Date:08 February 2024
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.