A Cape Town pastor has been accused of “selling off” vulnerable young women to foreigners.
It’s believed the Bonteheuwel man grooms unemployed and drug-addicted women to marry foreigners, in order for them to gain South African citizenship.
Pastor Willie Delaney, who is a Commissioner of Oaths, allegedly uses several accomplices to recruit the brides.
The women are allegedly offered money, and in return he marries them “in toilets, on the street, at the back of shops and in restaurants”.
But while the women are locked into a legal marriage, their spouses disappear, never to be seen again.
“After we got married, I received a R500 upfront and every month after that a R300,” one of the alleged victims told the Daily Voice.
“After the scam was done, me and this husband of mine parted ways.”
But while Delaney admits to the Daily Voice that he often marries local women to foreigners, he denies it is a scam or that he is making money from the weddings.
Serena (not her real name) says one of Delaney’s recruits approached her in January 2015, asking if she has a valid identity document and if she wanted to make some “quick money”.
“She made it sound like we were helping someone and getting money for it,” said the 26-year-old.
She said she only met her Pakistani “fiance” the day before they got hitched.
“The next day we got married. Many of my friends also fell for this scam,” said Serena.
She said the wedding ceremony took place in a mall’s parking lot.
“No words were exchanged.
“The pastor took our fingerprints and the signatures of our witnesses,” she said.
They then drove to a police station to get an affidavit, stating that her “husband” was legally married.
Jaylin (not her real name) said she was recruited in the same manner, but got married at the pastor’s house.
Jaylin said: “When one of the many recruiters approached me I couldn’t find my ID, but that (woman) was so convincing.
“Like Serena, I also married a Pakistani.”
The women say they never had se_x with their husbands, who disappeared as soon as the police stamped their affidavits.
They claim Delaney is paid R3 000 by foreign men to perform the ceremony.
The brides receive R500 on their wedding day, and the recruiter’s cut is about R200.
The women said they were angry they they had become involved with Delaney, and want out of their “bogus” marriages.
But demands for a divorce have fallen on deaf ears.
Jaylin said: “The pastor always says, ‘It is the most honest way of making money without stealing’.
“But look now… ek glo helfte van Bonteheuwel is al getroud deur daai man (I think that half the people living in Bonteheuwel have been married by that man).”
Asked to comment on the allegations, Delaney told the Daily Voice: “Daardie mense wat hierdie goed beweer moet na my toe kom en dit bewys (The people making these allegations against me must come up with proof).”
Source:Daily Voice/IOL