VIDEO: Marchers descend on Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court for Pastor Tim Omotoso appearance

BY AFIKILE LUGUNYA - APRIL 21, 2017
VIDEO: Marchers descend on Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court for Pastor Tim Omotoso appearance

There were dramatic scenes outside the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court as congregants from the Port Elizabeth branch of the Jesus Dominion International, which was founded by controversial Nigerian televangelist and senior pastor, Tim Omotoso, arrived to show solidarity with their leader to find protesters gathered outside the court demanding that he gets no bail.

The disgraced man of cloth made his first court appearance on Friday after he was arrested by the Hawks and the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team (TRT) in equally dramatic fashion just after he landed at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Thursday afternoon.

While the Jesus Dominion International sang hymns and prayed outside for Divine intervention in the case, angry protesters from several local political parties said the courts must make sure he is locked away for what he did.

"The 58-year-old pastor allegedly trafficked young women and girls from various branches of his church to a house in, uMhlanga, Kwazulu-Natal where he allegedly exploited them sexually," Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda, said just after the arrest.

A regional leader of the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League, Buyelwa Mafuya, said that local church leaders must unite in solidarity and show that they do not support what Omotoso did as Pastors.

“We need religious leaders’ voices to come with us as woman to demonstrate that they are supporting these young girls and women,” she said.

The pastor has since hired two of the City's top defence lawyers Alwyn Griebenow and Terry Price, who are also the legal representatives of disgraced businessman, Christopher Panayiotou, who is accused of plotting the murder of his wife, Jayde, in April 2015.

Omotoso apparently had tried to avoid arrest at the airport by first lying about his arrival times and then hiding in a toilet when he found the Hawks and armed members of the South African Police Service’s Tactical Response Team (TRT) waiting for him.

Rumours had also made rounds that he had probably left the country or was in hiding after claims of the abuses surfaced.

Omotoso’s bail hearing was postponed to the 3rd of May. In the meantime, he will be held in custody.