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Omotoso trial: Zondi claims Omotoso is delusional, but praises church in videos

By Afikile Lugunya - Oct 16, 2018
Omotoso trial: Zondi claims Omotoso is delusional, but praises church in videos

The Defence 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, on Tuesday continued with its cross-examination of the first State witness, Cheryl Zondi, attempting to rip her testimony apart.

During the cross-examination, Zondi, whose father attended the hearing, said that when she went back to Jesus Dominion International church in 2015 - after her mother had initially prevented her from attending the church, Omotoso told her that he had forgiven her.

Shocked, Defence lawyer, Peter Daubermann, asked "Why on earth would this man say that that he forgives you when he is the one, who wronged you."

Zondi replied: "This man is delusional."

When Omotoso told her this, Zondi said that she just cried and cried. In her testimony last week, she said she went back to the church hoping that Omotoso would apologise to her.

Finding strength to confront Omotoso

Before the first church service after her return, Zondi described, Omotoso told her that she'd go to the church service with him in his car.

"That was in 2015, I realised that I was putting myself again in the exact same place that I had managed to escape."

Daubermann asked: "Did you agree to go with him in his vehicle?"

Zondi replied: "He told me that it would be just the two of us in the car and that is the time I confronted him."

She told the court that is when she realised that Omotoso still had a hold over her.

"On our way to the church, he was driving. He told me that I'm 19 now and that my punishment would be doubled than what it was and what it would've been," she described.

"I asked him why was it necessary for him to do that to me - I was scared, but I gathered strength to tell him that I didn't like what he did to me.

"He said there was no other way. He'd say that it was a cross."

Daubermann uses videos of Cheryl at the church against her

However, Daubermann produced a video before the court, which was apparently taken the day Zondi went back to Omotoso's church.

In the video, Zondi says that 'there is no place like home' and adds that she regrets having left the church.

In the same video, Omotoso says that people must be forgiven like the Bible says "Forgive everyone, who has sinned against you".

Omotoso then asks Cheryl to sing in the church, which she does.

Daubermann produced another video, which showed the then 13-year-old Cheryl testifying in church about the powers of darkness and what her role was in the Jesus Dominion International.

Cheryl said that her late Pastor, Mbulelo, told her to lie in front of church members so that the Secunda branch - her home branch, would gain more traction ahead of other Jesus Dominion International branches.

She also said that her mother was angry when she saw that the video was circulating online while the church didn't even ask for permission to post her 13-year-old daughter online.

At the church, Zondi was apparently part of a singing group known as the 'Grace Galaxy' and in the videos played in court, she seemed happy.

Trial continues...

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