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Anglican Commission willing to support priest allegedly raped by another priest

This after a Women's Day protest outside the residence of Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Bishopscourt in support of Reverend June Dolley-Major.

A group of women in Cape Town are taking a stand against gender based violence. They’re protesting outside the residence of Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Bishopscourt.  Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - The Anglican Church Commission said it was open and willing to support a priest who has accused another priest of raping her in 2002.

This after a Women's Day protest outside the residence of Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Bishopscourt in support of Reverend June Dolley-Major.

The church's Safe and Inclusive Church Commission, set up to support victims of sexual and other abuse, was established by the church's governing Provincial Synod last year.

The commission said it was deeply saddened by the pain and experience reported to it by Reverend Dolley-Major last month.

It said she had two options in her quest for justice; church law or criminal charges.

The church route entails an internal investigation and the commission said it would await her response by 1 September.

But Reverend Major questioned how the church could investigate itself.

The commission said when she first reported her alleged rape to church leaders in 2016, Archbishop Makgoba urged her to report the matter to police.

The reverend said she did this, but a prosecutor in Grahamstown declined to pursue the matter.

The commission said the church supported the re-opening of the case.

An advocate representing Reverend Major said: “Based on the merits of the case, the process of resurrecting and pursuing criminal charges has begun in earnest.”

Organisations such as Philisa Abafazi Bethu have also called for the priest to be suspended as he is still preaching in Cape Town.

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