(By Robin-Lee Francke, ANA)

A former female priest of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa embarked on a hunger strike on Wednesday to force the church to address the alleged rape she suffered at the hands of a priest in 2002

Reverend June Major, 51, set-up a tent and chair in front of the home of archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Bishop’s Court, Cape Town.

Major was formerly a part of the Cape Town Diocese and ministered at St. Saviour’s Church in Claremont, St. George’s in Silvertown, and at St. Matthew’s in Harfield Village.

She was allegedly raped in 2002 at the Grahamstown Seminary by a fellow priest. Major accused the clergy of doing nothing about the crime.

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Major embarked on a hunger strike four years ago after the charges she finally filed against her alleged rapist came to naught.

She told African News Agency (ANA) on Wednesday that she would continue with the hunger strike for as long as needed.

“Four years ago I also went on a hunger strike but now I will keep going.

Reverend June Major on Wednesday embarked on a hunger strike outside the Cape Town home of Anglican archbishop Thabo Makgoba, saying she wanted the church to finally take her alleged rape in 2002 seriously. She has alleged that her rapist, a priest, is still ministering. Photo: Supplied ;

“I am camping out outside the home of the archbishop as I want him to address me.

“The archbishop speaks out about gender-based violence, and at the time of the murder of Uyinene [Mrwetyana] he conveyed his condolences, stating society needs to address the prevalence of violence against women and children, but what about me? What he has done pains me,” she said.

Major said that since reporting the alleged rape to the church, she had been rendered unemployed, homeless and hungry.

She said oppression, gender-based violence and abuse was rife in the church.

“I am not going to leave until I speak to [the archbishop] face to face. My rapist is still preaching.

“I am not his only victim, there have been more. I want the archbishop to acknowledge and do something about this.

“He cannot address these issues in his sermons but cover it up in the church,” she said.

Major said she also wanted the archbishop to address her and her alleged rapist in one sitting so that she could tell them “just what they did to me, how broken I am. This man is still ministering and it breaks my heart.”

She encouraged victims of gender-based violence to support her, and to tell their own stories.

The Anglican Church of Southern Africa is yet to respond to ANA‘s queries.


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STOP Gender Violence Helpline Tel: 0800 150 150/ *120*7867#
South African Police Service Report all cases of rape, sexual assault or any form of violence to a local police station or call the toll-free Crime Stop number: 086 00 10111
Legal Aid South Africa Call the toll-free Legal Aid Advice Line 0800110 110 for free legal aid if you cannot afford one
Commission for Gender Equality Report Gender Discrimination and Abuse: 0800 007 709
South African Human Rights Commission Call 011 877 3600 to lodge a complaint about human rights violations.
Domestic violence Helpline Stop Women Abuse: 0800 150 150
AIDS Helpline 0800 012 322
The Warrior Project FREE legal helpline for victims of domestic abuse: 0860 333 353
People Opposed to Woman Abuse(Powa) http://www.powa.co.za, Tel: 011 642 4345
Child Welfare South Africa http://childwelfaresa.org.za/, Tel: 074 080 8315
Childline South Africa http://www.childlinesa.org.za/, Tel: 0800 055 555
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Tears Foundation http://www.tears.co.za/, Free SMS helpline: *134*7355#, Tel: 010 590 5920
The Trauma Centre http://www.trauma.org.za/, Tel: 021 465 7373
Thuthuzela Care Centres http://isssasa.org.za/

Author: ANA Newswire