Alleged victims of controversial Congolese preacher Pedro Marcelino Moussongela yesterday narrated horrors they have allegedly endured at his hands – including attempts of forced prostitution.
The hopes of about 100 alleged victims and their sympathisers were restored – at least in the interim – when the preacher’s bail application was postponed to October 3 for yet another formal bail hearing.
Moussongela is charged with three counts of rape, abortion and human trafficking.
The alleged victims and their sympathisers started marching as early as 07h00 yesterday to hand in a petition at the Ondangwa Magistrate’s Court, demanding that no bail be granted to the accused pastor.
The petition was received by control prosecutor Dollien Gowases.
“Our other strong reasons for our rigorous opposition to the release of Pastor Moussongela is that he is likely to continue to commit similar or additional crimes related to trafficking in persons or any other serious crimes of a sexual nature against other people,” said Fidel Nakashololo, who read the petition on behalf of the victims.
The court still maintained its objection of granting the accused bail when he made his second appearance at the court.
Gowases, the prosecutor in the matter, argued that the accused faces complex and syndicated organised offences transcending the borders of Namibia hence cannot be granted bail.
Investigations into the matter are still ongoing.
Moussongela was represented by Tuwilika Shailemo of Inonge Mainga Attorneys.
One of the emotional alleged victims, Ebba Katemo, related to New Era how her daughter was apparently smuggled out of the country by Moussongela.
Katemo said her daughter – who was 17 at the time – lost out on school after Moussongela allegedly promised her a chance to study medicine in the UK.
“She was young and on the lookout for opportunities. Unfortunately, like all the other victims, it was not all glory when she landed in the UK. She was told to sell herself in order to survive,” related Katemo. In addition, Moussongela allegedly also asked the young girl to take pictures of her “prostituting” and send them to him so that they can start a “prostitution” business in Namibia.
Fortunately, Katemo’s daughter found a job while her mother raised money to bring her back home.
The 30-year-old Fidel Nakashololo, a stepson of Moussongela, shared how the pastor allegedly dumped him, his three siblings and a cousin in South Africa in 2000.
“We knew no one and had no place to stay. But fortunately we found a good Samaritan who housed us until our family relocated us,” said Nakashololo.
Their mother was apparently sent to Canada to study theology, but just like the others there was no course to undertake in the North American country.
When they allegedly returned home in 2006, their properties including their mother’s school Linden English Private School, currently known as Mennomite, was transferred into his name.
“My mother died poor because her wealth was stolen from her. And all we want is for our wealth to be returned and that he be kept in custody,” said Nakashololo.
While the court was a scene for highly-charged emotions, Moussongela kept smiling throughout.
He smiled for the media to take pictures in the jam-packed Court A at Ondangwa.
Magistrate Peter Nangula presided.