The South African cleric taking on the church over a rapist priest


By Esther Akello Ogola

Girls folk’s Affairs Journalist, BBC Africa


describe copyrightReverend June Predominant

Reverend June Predominant has been preventing for justice for 18 years, ever since she says she was raped by a fellow South African cleric.

She has undertaken different unorthodox protests in a show to derive the Anglican church of Southern Africa to launch an investigation into her case and others.

On 9 August 2020,

South Africa’s ladies’s day, Rev Predominant was amongst a few ladies and activists who hung up underclothes along the fence of the distance of the Archbishop of Southern Africa, Thabo Makgoba.

describe copyrightJune Predominant

The girls had been protesting against what they acknowledged was inadequate action from the church over allegations of sexual misconduct by priests in the Anglican church of Southern Africa, together with one who Rev Predominant says raped her.

“My battle is no longer against the church, or no longer it is against the hierarchy and patriarchy that silences ladies, who tells us to protect easy and who finds fault with us and enables the perpetrator to continue doing what they are doing,” she instructed South African media.

Nevertheless this was no longer the first time Rev Predominant had protested against the church’s alleged silence on the problem.

‘I was willing to die’

In 2016, Rev Predominant went on her first hunger strike.

Four years later, in July this 300 and sixty five days, she went on one other hunger strike, this time camping subsequent to 20 Bishopscourt in Cape Town, the authentic space of Archbishop Makgoba.

“I was willing to die on that pavement, no longer simplest for myself, but for every lady and child who’s been denied justice,” she instructed the BBC.

According to Rev Predominant, she was attacked in 2002, while visiting a seminary.

Rev Predominant says the priest entered the room where they had been being hosted by one in all the households at the seminary and attacked her.

“I fought him off but at some level he had his fingers around my throat. I didn’t teach on yarn of there had been formative years in the house. He left when he was accomplished.

“I was shaky and nervous after. I correct wished to die. I known as our other friend and instructed him what had took pickle,” she explains, adding that her attacker came back a 2nd time and simplest left after she instructed him that their friend knew concerning the assault.

A lifetime of silence and wretchedness

On yarn of the attack 18 years ago, Rev Predominant says she has been living in distress.

“[A] friend instructed that we must serene protect the topic between ourselves and my rapist promised he would by no technique are attempting such a thing once more. I agreed since in a few months’ time we would be living in separate cities and I design that was ample closure.”

On the different hand, two years later, Rev Predominant determined to query of the church to own the topic investigated.

“I was once more instructed to protect easy. I agreed, pondering I desired to provide protection to the title of the church, an establishment I liked very grand. Unfortunately the silence took its toll on me.”

Rev Predominant says she has constant nightmares and has a wretchedness of staying in rooms that could no longer be locked, usually even sitting together with her back against doors that could no longer lock.

“I by no technique let of us derive too near me, no longer to notify males, on yarn of I was injure by somebody I regarded as close,” she says.

Church accused of hypocrisy

It was simplest after somebody she knew was inviting a pair of rape case that Rev Predominant went public together with her myth, hoping that she would derive some make of healing and inspire other victims to derive the braveness to file their attackers.

She first took her battle for justice to the police to launch criminal complaints but that did no longer comprise any fruit.

She then took it to the church no longer simplest with the hope that the church would look into her alleged attack, but would address other allegations of sexual abuse.

She says the reaction she obtained from the church was extra silence, prompting her to stir on her first hunger strike in 2016. Only then, she says, did the church react – on the the seventh day of her hunger strike, the church administration promised to look into the topic. Rev Predominant, alternatively, says nothing came of the promise.

On 1 July, four years after her first such action, she says she felt compelled to stir on one other hunger strike, after what she felt was hypocrisy on the phase of the church.

describe copyrightHenry Prince

describe captionReverend Predominant station up camp reverse the archbishop’s space throughout her hunger strike

“That identical 300 and sixty five days I went on my first hunger strike, I misplaced my earnings as a priest. I wanted to stir to a novel job in Australia and subsequently resigned from my post. On the different hand, I wanted a letter of recommendation in an effort to start my unique job.

“My letter, which initially had been promised, by no technique came and I own no longer been in a position to work as a priest ever since,” says Rev Predominant.

She then opted to sue the church for lack of earnings. The topic is serene in court docket.

“What angers me is that the archbishop speaks up against intercourse- and gender-based violence, and patriarchy, but the motive I am where I am is because of the say of being inactive from the church.

“Or no longer it is unhappy that as a girl that that you would possibly maybe maybe maybe ought to stir to such extremes and build your physique in threat, but I desired to consult with Makgoba to know what he would enact about it [the rape case] and query of an within investigation and some roughly justice,” she says.

What the church says

Six days after Rev Predominant went on hunger strike, she agreed to call it off after assembly Archbishop Makgoba.

He instructed her to build her demands in writing by email.

“The next Monday, the archbishop spoke back to me asserting that they’ll start a disciplinary hearing and consult with the prosecutor in the city the rape took pickle to re-launch the case. Essentially based on that, I ended my hunger strike.”

describe copyrightHenry Prince

describe captionArchbishop Thabo Makgoba (2nd L) met Reverend Predominant (third R) a few times throughout her 2020 hunger strike

The church emailed her, asserting it was “committed to be determined the topic is addressed with the seriousness it deserves”.

On its online net page, the Anglican Church of South Africa says it outlined the standards expected of clergy and pickle of work bearers in 2002. This was in a show to address “the many kinds of abuse of power that progressively affected ladies and kids”.

In 2018, a framework was build in pickle to address complaints and “produce a good church and in 2019, committed itself to produce areas where justice and restoration can exercise pickle”.

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On the different hand, two years later, Rev Predominant and other gender activists hung underclothes at the archbishop’s gate in exclaim at what she termed a battle of hobby by people of the glorious church committee, who are additionally people of the Anglican church tasked to analyze her case.

In a assertion launched on her Facebook net page Rev Predominant acknowledged: “I deem that an investigation performed by of us that are on the payroll of, and aligned to the Church, would simplest assist to extra victimize me.”

She wishes the investigation to be performed by an self reliant physique. She has resolved this with the church and has agreed to struggle thru with the course of.

The church launched its comprise assertion, asserting that Rev Predominant was free to rent attorneys and that the church was even willing to abet her derive toughen, must serene it mediate it primary.

Furthermore, the church says that in response to Rev Predominant’s concerns, it has “incorporated an even phase-time commissioner of the Gender Payment on the panel which is willing to analyze her [Major’s] complaint. It is hoped that this could maybe present her with an added level of have confidence and consolation with the course of”.

Past accusations

The Anglican Church of South Africa has confronted a few cases of sexual misconduct by its priests.

describe copyrightAFP

describe captionArchbishop Makgoba has acknowledged that people of the church own previously been accused of sexual abuse

In 2018, award-winning South African author Ishtiyaq Shukri wrote an launch letter pointing out he had confronted years of sexual abuse by the fingers of Anglican priests as a baby.

Archbishop Makgoba apologised on behalf of the church for what he known as previous wrongs and the failure to address sexual abuse claims. Days later he published that a few different victims had come forward, accusing some of the church’s priests of sexual abuse.

The church has additionally launched other cases that are being looked into.

Rev Predominant has acknowledged that she is launch to going thru the Anglican church’s investigative course of.

In a assertion, she acknowledged it was main for her and for the church that justice be served.

She acknowledged she had usually regarded as pursuing the topic thru the courts, as a substitute of the church “but God made the calling on my lifestyles in the Anglican Church and that is where I deem He serene calls me to be of carrier as His humble servant.”

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