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Women alleged to have recruited girls for Omotoso released on R2 000 bail

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 24, 2017
Women alleged to have recruited girls for Omotoso released on R2 000 bail

Two women, who are alleged to have recruited and groomed young girls for controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Timothy Omotoso, appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Both the first accused, 36-year-old Lusanda Solani, and 28-year-old Zukiswa Sitho, pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them. They are being represented by Attorney James Riley, who once represented Omotoso, as he sought bail.

According to the State, the two women recruited girls at  Jesus Dominion International church crusades and reported to Omotoso as the Senior Pastor, who come and look at the girls that have been recruited.

It is alleged, that once satisfied with their looks and "freshness", arrangements for their trips to Durban would be made with the two women. 

The State claims that the two women would tell the girls how to behave around Omotoso and swore them to secrecy or they would die for disobeying a man of God.

The court heard that Solani has been married for five years, is eight months pregnant and has a 3-year-old child. Apparently, at the time of her arrest, she had arrived in Port Elizabeth from Durban, with her husband for a wedding, last week.

Sitho, it emerged, is also married with two children, including a seven-day old baby.

She told the court that she was still in pain after giving birth through cesarean section or C-section.

The State, represented by prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa, didn’t oppose bail due to the circumstances of both women. He told the court that it was in the best interest of justice to allow the women to be released on bail.

Their bail was set at R2 000 and they both were instructed to report to their nearest police station at 6:00am and 6:00pm every Tuesday of the week.

Sitho will report at the Humewood Police Station, while Solani will also do the same at the Glenwood Police Station.

Their passports are still confiscated by the Hawks, but they will be allowed to travel around the province given permission by the court.

Solani will continue to reside at her parents place, which is situated in Motherwell NU5, in Port Elizabeth, until the 5th of December to save travelling costs.

The National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson,  Tsepo Ndwalaza said that the two women are facing the same charges facing Omotoso.

“We can confirm that they did appear in court today and they are facing the same charges as the accused in this matter, but they didn’t rape anybody, but they have been accessory to the counts," said Ndwalaza described.

“We believe that it is not time to say that they are not the only one, there are probably a number of them, who will appear or be arrested as time goes on as we get our darks in a row."

Solani, Sitho and Omotoso are all expected to be back in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court on the 5th of December.