Magistrate Ntombizodwa Mazhandu, who is presiding over the case of a man who claims a Roman Catholic priest drugged and sexually abused him, has gone on study leave thus the trial can only take off upon her return on September 7.
The man who has made the allegations against the priest, Rodwell Chikanza (28), is facing charges of duping the priest, Father Claudius Luphahla of
$25 000 in a botched driver’s licence deal.
Charges against Chikanza are that in July 2009, Fr Luphahla was approached by his brother Edward who told him that Chikadza could assist the priest getting a driver’s licence, since he had tried on several occasions without success.
Fr Luphahla gave Chikanza his papers and $100 for the processing of the driver’s licence.
He allegedly took long to process the licence prompting the man of the cloth to ask him about the matter, but he allegedly became evasive.
Chikanza later advised Fr Luphahla that he had been arrested after his superior at work had seen the papers and reported the matter to the police.
Between December 2009 and April 14 last year, Chikanza had allegedly repeatedly extorted money from the priest by mispresenting to him that the police, prosecutor, magistrate, assessors, clerk of court and judges wanted money to save him and the priest from incarceration.
Using this modus operandi, Chikanza allegedly duped the priest of $25 520. Luphahla however later discovered he was being conned and made a report to the police.
Police arrested Chikanza and recovered $6 500. Chikanza pleaded not guilty to fraud and is on $300 bail. In his defence, Chikanza denied having extorted money from Fr Luphahla but said the cleric voluntarily gave him money to embark on his projects in Binga and allegedly also asked to be “intimate” with him, but he refused.
The two are childhood friends and go to the same church.
He said he suspected that Luphahla sodomised him, as he allegedly once drugged him with a drink at his house at the parish in Emgwanwini.
Jerry Mutsindikwa is appearing for the State.