Ricochet News

Controversial Pastor Omotoso expected in PE court after being arrested by the Hawks

Apr 20, 2017
Controversial Pastor Omotoso expected in PE court after being arrested by the Hawks

There was drama at the Port Elizabeth International Airport on Thursday as armed police officers, led by the Hawks, arrested controversial Nigerian televangelist and senior pastor of the Jesus Dominion International, which is based in Durban, Timothy Omotoso, just after he landed at the airport.

"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," explained Hawks spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

Pastor Omotoso and the Jesus Dominion International came under scrutiny after being featured on the SABC current affairs programme, Special Assignment on Sunday, in which several women claimed that they had been abused by the pastor under the pretext of healing.

The has since hired two of the City's top defence lawyers Alwyn Griebenow and Terry Price, who are also the legal representatives of disgraced buisness 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 nhiding after claims of the abuses surfaced.

He is expected to appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday.

According to Lt Col Netshiunda, Omotoso faces a charge of human trafficking - but more charges could be added.