Rabbi Eliezer Berland
Rabbi Eliezer BerlandPhoto: Uri Lenz / Flash 90

Johannesburg's Randburg Magistrates Court ruled on Thursday that Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who is wanted in Israel on suspicions of multiple cases of sexual assault, will remain in prison until a decision regarding his extradition to Israel is made.

During his hearing, the head of the Shuvu Banim sect urged the court to let him post bail while his followers vowed he would not attempt to flee.

The judges denied his request due to his track record of fleeing to numerous countries in recent years as he evaded justice in Israel. He has moved from country to country, largely staying in those that have no extradition treaty with Israel.

Berland was moved to a single cell in Johannesburg Prison’s “awaiting facility,” and the rabbi’s family is permitted to deliver Passover food to him.

About 700 of Berland’s followers demonstrated Monday morning outside the South African embassy in Ramat Gan calling for their leader’s release.