Pending s.e.xual assault charges against Endless Hope Bible Church owner Bishop Israel Makamu have been withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
The NPA said in a statement that Makamu had a consultation session with the complainant, who then filed a withdrawal statement.
In May, it was alleged Makamu s.e.xually assaulted the complainant, a former employee, at his church office in Alberton, east of Johannesburg, in September 2018.
He was released on R2,000 bail after appearing briefly in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on 26 May.
The NPA said after “careful consideration of all evidence and the mediation process” it was “convinced” that prosecution no longer be pursued.
Just before his court apparent, Makamu was a guest on TV show AmaBishop, to try and explain the relationship between him and his congregants.
This was in light of leaked audio in which the host of TV show Rea Tsotella can be heard asking a woman he refers to as “ngwanaka” [my child], to give him “something”. Social media users inferred that he was asking for a sexual favour.
In the recording, he asks the woman: “Are you alone?”
When she says she has no company, the bishop asks her: “Otlo mpha [Will you give me]?”
The woman says no and stands firm in her response to Makamu, who begs for her to change her mind. She tells him she will “give him” on Sunday.
He denied the conversation involved asking for s.e.xual favours, and asked his wife for forgiveness during a church service.
“Maybe I’m no longer worthy to be called your husband, with all humility, I’m repeating words I said three years ago, I have sinned, please find it in your heart to forgive me,” said Makamu to his wife, who walked up to the pulpit to hug her husband.
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