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Omotoso church members apply for court interdict against ANC

By Afikile Lugunya - Nov 6, 2018
Omotoso church members apply for court interdict against ANC

Congregants from the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church, which is led by controversial Nigerian televangelist, Pastor Timothy Omotoso, lodged an application at the Port Elizabeth High Court after apparently being referred to as “cult worshipers”.

The trial, which began in October, is currently delayed after presiding Judge Mandela Makaula dismissed an application by the Omotoso's defense for leave to appeal his decision to not recuse himself from the trial over alleged bias.

Omotoso, and his co-accused, Lusanda Solani and Zukiswa Sitho, face a total of 97 charges - 63 of which are the main charges and 34 are listed as alternative charges.

An application lodged by three of Omotoso's supporters alleges that the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) and the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) referred to their church as “cult”.

The ANCWL and the ANCYL are apparently cited in the application among other respondents.

In a statement released by Siviwe Ngaba, who is the Regional Spokesperson for the ANCYL, and Luyolo Nqakula, who is a Regional Secretary for the ANCYL, said that the application released by the JDI church members is for the ANCYL and its members to be interdicted and restrained from holding an assembly or protest within hundred metres of the church's Port elizabeth premises.

“In the founding affidavid, it is alleged that the ANCYL, together with other respondents, have labelled JDI as a cult and have as a result preduced the rape-accused Omotoso,” read the statement.

Ngaba also adds that the applicants argue that their right to practice religion and freedom of association has been infringed upon.

'ANCYL says the JDI application is not urgent'

However, the ANCYL have filed their intention to oppose the urgent application claiming that the matter is not urgent.

“We are not convinced that the applicants have satisfied the legal grounds for urgency in relation to the interim relief which they seek and thus, do not believe that the courts should grant the interim relief which is sought.

“The meeting reiterated its confidence in the independence of our judiciary and that we will allow the courts to deal with the matter without fear, favour or prejudice,” the ANCYL said in a statement.

"They added that their view is that this application is an attempt to derail our efforts in advancing the struggle of our people in general and the youth in particular.

“We want to reiterate our contemptuousness in relation to persons who are undermining societal efforts to deal with the scourge of gender-based violence in our country.

“We remain steadfast in our position to continue to fearlessly defend the victims of gender-based violence.

“Our commitment to the revolutionary struggles of our people is inspired by the sacrifices and selfless contribution of Vuyisile Mini, Wilson Khayingo, Zinakile Mkaba, Nolali Mpentse, Daniel Ndongeni and Samuel Jonas. It is for this reason that we intend to fearlessly and militantly continue adding value to the struggle through programmes that respond practically to challenges facing the youth of our country."

They further invited the members of society,all interested political parties, non-political organisations and members of the media to the court proceedings in defence of the efforts that have been made to deal with perpetrators of sexual violence under the disguise of religious practices, at the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Drama at the Omotoso trial

The Omotoso trial has so far not been without its drama after two women were thrown out of court after claiming to be Omotoso's security detail:

Daubermann was also confronted by an angry mob over his cross-examination of Zondi:

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