Ricochet News

Omotoso trial: State witness details how she was sexually abused by Omotoso

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 10, 2018
Omotoso trial: State witness details how she was  sexually abused by Omotoso

The State's first witness in 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, took the stand on Wednesday.

This follows after the Defence attorney, Peter Dauberman, explained to presiding Judge, Mandela Makaula, on Tuesday that his clients had "refuse to plead to all the charges against them”.

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

On Tuesday, it also emerged that the two women that were thrown out of the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday after claiming to Omotoso's security detail, are actually local police officers.

State witness testimony

The witness, 22-year-old Nombulele Zondi, took the stand and told the Port Elizabeth High Court that she was born in Mpumalanga and joined the Jesus Dominion International church at the age of 13 years old in 2009 while doing Grade 7.

She said that after attending church services many times, she finally went to a National Church conference, which was hosted by Omotoso in Durban.

"I was thrilled to go there because I had watched clips of Omotoso [preaching]."

She said that when she got there, she noticed a group of beautiful women, who walked in and out with him.

"They were part of a choir, and I was also an aspiring singer," Zondi described.

She said that when she got there, one of the Pastors approached her and said that Omotoso had liked the way she behaved.

"I was excited to have received the news because they were said by a man of God."

Witness says Omotoso controlled her life

She then received instructions from one of the beautiful ladies in that group, a message that included Omotoso's number with strict instructions that she must SMS him three to five times a day and report her every move.

"He wanted to know all my movements; in the morning I had to SMS him and say 'Good morning, I hope you slept well' in the evening I had to say ‘Good evening, sleep well' and also if I had to go to the shops, I had to SMS him and say 'My mom sent me to the shop to buy sugar and beef-stock’,” Zondi described.

However, she said that Omotoso never replied to the SMSes, but he'd call when he wanted to communicate with her.

She said that every time he called, he would ask the same questions about her family members and her love life, which she didn't have.

"I was 14, I didn't have a love life, I didn't have a boyfriend and still a virgin," she said.

"He put so much emphasis on my non-existing love life."

Zondi said that she was a solo singer at the Jesus Dominion International church branch in Secunda, Mpumalanga.

With the other girls it was different

Zondi said that she was sponsored with a bus ticket by a couple at the Secunda branch after Omotoso begged her to attend a service in Durban.

"I called him and told him the good news of me coming to Durban where he asked about accommodation, and I said I had never thought about that, so he said that I must come and stay with him," she narrated.

Zondi said that she automatically thought that "Oh, I'd stay with those beautiful women".

When she arrived at Umhlanga Rocks, Durban, she said a car was booked, which fetched her from the bus-stop and drove her to Omotoso's house.

She said that she thought she would find Omotoso's wife and kids in the house, however she was confused when she only saw the girls in there.

Zondi described the beauty of the house and how Omotoso went and lay on the couch in the living room where 20 - 30 girls formed a line to hug him.

"I bathed and everyone was friendly - so house rules were explained to me," she said.

"We were not supposed to leave the living room when he was there until he left first, so we would follow.

"We had to shower 3 - 4 times a day because he didn't like funny smells and also we were not allowed to sleep more than five hours."

One - on - one sessions with Omotoso

Zondi described for the court the one-on-one sessions each girl had to have with "the man of God" and she went to this room, which she thought was an office and knocked.

To her surprise, there was no answer, so she waited for a supervisor identified as "Fezeka", who was in charge of the girls. Apparently, Fezeka instructed her to just walk in without knocking.

She said that she walked into a dark room and heard a voice that said lock the door and she did.

After looking around, she saw that it was Omotoso's bedroom and she was instructed to move closer to the bed where Omotoso lay covered in bed sheets, but wearing a shirt.

Zondi described how she moved closer to him and saw that Omotoso was masterbating.

She said that she was instructed to take off her doek "because it made her look old" until she was completely naked as Omotoso kept instructing her to take off her clothing.

Zondi described to the court how Omotoso then forced himself on her and sexually abused her.

"He told me to go shower and then come back to bed. I did as I was told because his voice was threatening and I was afraid of not obeying the man of God," she described.

She said that Omotoso's "snored" as he slept with his head on top of her body.

When he eventually woke up, Zondi told the court that Omotoso read Psam 51 and prayed saying that "God must forgive us".

She said that, at that very moment, she silently asked herself a question of why would this man say "we" while it was all him.

Her testimony continued HERE...

Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook.

news 22180 28296 timomotosopehighcourt jpg