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Self-proclaimed prophet and pastor Mukovhe Makhavhu, better known on Facebook as Elma Mutavhatsindi, was photographed in court while waiting for the verdict in his rape and robbery case. Photo: Silas Nduvheni.

'Facebook rapist' found guilty of rape and robbery

 

Mukovhe Vincent Makhavhu, a 34-year-old self-proclaimed prophet and pastor, was found guilty on four counts of rape, one count of compelled sexual assault, and another count of robbery with aggravated circumstances. He appeared in the High Court in Thohoyandou last Wednesday (24 April).

Makhavhu, better known on his Facebook page as “Elma Mutavhatsindi,” hails from Duthuni village, just outside Thohoyandou. He allegedly made contact with women through his social-media pages and then promised them free prayer sessions for various needs such as job opportunities, marital problems, and healing and cleansing. However, these women ended up being raped and robbed of their belongings, some at gunpoint.

Makhavhu managed to attract over 100,000 followers on his Facebook account. Once a victim was lured into his net, he invited them to areas such as at Mutshundudi River, where they were raped.

The police were alerted by community members, especially young women who fell prey to Makhavhu, and charges of rape were laid against him. He was later arrested in Gauteng in 2021 on separate charges and brought back to Thohoyandou, where more charges were added.

When reading the verdict to the accused, Judge Thogomelani Tshidada stated that the methods used by Makhavhu to lure young women, promising prayers and cleansing in the river, were typically the same. Furthermore, Makhavhu was identified by all rape complainants during identification parades.

Tshidada told those in attendance in Court C of the High Court that he found Makhavhu guilty on four counts of rape, one of compelled sexual assault, and another of robbery with aggravated circumstances. He postponed the case to 3 June, awaiting a pre-sentencing report and allowing Makhavhu to speak in mitigation.

 

 

Date:03 May 2024

By: Silas Nduvheni

Read: 1707

 

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