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Recap as Omotoso trial enters second week at the Port Elizabeth High Court

Oct 15, 2018
Recap as Omotoso trial enters second week at the Port Elizabeth High Court

The trial of controversial Nigerian televangelist and Senior Pastor of the Jesus Dominion International church, Timothy 'Tim' Omotoso, and his co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, which is being heard at the Port Elizabeth High Court, entered its second week on Monday. 

Omotoso, Solani and Sitho, are facing 97 charges in total, 63 of those charges constitute the main charge sheet while 34 are alternative charges. The charges include racketeering activities, sexual assault and rape.

Omotoso and his co-accused are being represented by Defence attorney, Peter Dauberman, who explained to presiding Judge, Mandela Makaula, on Tuesday that his clients had "refused to plead to all the charges against them”.

Judge Makaula entered a not guilty plea on their behalf.

Daubermann had also asked the court to throw the case out after the State apparently failed to provide specific details about exactly where and when the apparent abuses happened. 

Judge Makaula ruled that the trial continues.

Judge Makaula did not state any reasons why he decided to proceed with the trial that is expected to conclude in December.

There was also drama at the trial after two women claiming to be Omotoso's security were thrown out of the court building by police.

State witness provides damning testimony against Omotoso and Solani

On Wednesday, the first state witness, 22-year-old Nombulele Cheril Zondi, who said she was sexually abused by Omotoso from when she was just 14 years old, chose appear in open court.

Zondi detailed how she joined the church and was later sexually abused by Omotoso at his Durban home.

She also linked one of Omotoso's co-accsued, Lusanda Solani, to the abuses.

The Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission) commended Zondi for her bravery and said that more girls have since come forward asking for help to get justice following their abuse by religiuous leaders.

The trial has also attracted attention from Omotoso's home country in Nigeria.

The trial continues... 

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