By Kaya 959 News
TV presenter, Bishop Israel Makamu, has been released on R2000 bail after he was formally arrested on Wednesday for sexual assault.
According to the National Prosecuting Authority, a former employee laid a complaint at the Brackendowns police station.
“The case relates to an incident that allegedly happened in his church office in Alrode during September 2018,” said NPA spokesperson in Gauteng, Phindi Mjonondwane.
She said Makamu appeared briefly on Wednesday in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.
She said the case has been remanded to July for further investigation.
Makamu is a presenter on Rea Tsotella on DSTV’s Moja Love. He is accused of making sexual advances towards the employee who was under 18 at the time.
City Press reported that he allegedly tried to bribe the woman’s family after a telephone conversation purportedly between Makamu and the woman went viral on social media.
In the recording the man asks the girl if she would marry him. The girl replies, “No daddy” and he tells her she is boring.
He allegedly offered the family R1 million but her family rejected it, calling it ‘dirty money’. The family said they simply wanted Makamu to apologise to them.
The family claimed that when the girl tried to open a case previously, in 2017, they were not updated on any developments in the case.
Makamu steps down
Meanwhile, Makamu has voluntarily stepped down from the channel, pending an internal investigation.
In a statement, Moja Love confirmed that they will be conducting their own investigation regarding the matter before Makamu is reinstated back to the channel.
“In consultation with the channel, Bishop Makamu maintains that he is innocent and says that the recording dates back to 2017. He says the lady in the recording worked for him and their conversation was not sexual in any way and it was altered to extort money from him,” the channel said.
Makamu said he thought the matter had been resolved and suspects his character is being assassinated, as the recording has once again “suddenly” emerged.
Moja Love Head, Bokani Moyo, said they stand firm in establishing two sides to the story and will do a rigorous investigation to establish the truth around the circumstances of the recording.
“As a channel, we take this recording very seriously. We have started with an internal investigation and are reaching out to the lady in the recording to find out more,” he said. Moyo said one of their properties, AmaBishop, reveals behind the scenes shenanigans that pastors and bishops engage in and impose on the public.
“We cannot ignore a recording of this nature where one of our hosts is implicated. We have to establish the facts and truth before Makamu comes back as part of the team,” Moyo said.
Makamu was raised in Gauteng and is married to Hloniphile Makamu with whom he shares three children. He is a preacher, entrepreneur, TV host and motivational speaker. He founded the Endless Hope Bible Church which now has more than 10 branches across the country.