More explicit rape details expected when Zondi returns to the dock

Cross-examination in the rape case of Nigerian televangelist Timothy Omotoso is expected to continue in the high court in Gqeberha on Wednesday.

Defence advocate Peter Daubermann, who had a difficult time trying to crack state witness Cheryl Zondi previously, will again throw questions at her.

On Tuesday, Zondi was explicit when she outlined the details of her alleged rape by the Nigerian pastor.

She told the court that she was 14 at the time of the offence and had just joined Omotoso’s Jesus Dominion International Church.

Zondi, who joined the church because she wanted to grow her singing talent and believed Omotoso could train her, said the pastor raped her between 2010 and 2015.

Soon after she joined the church, Zondi became a member of a music group called Grace Galaxy. The band often travelled to other branches and even outside the country.

During her time as a member of the church, said Zondi, she travelled to Nigeria and Israel and the pastor would force her to perform oral sex and massage her.

“Every time I would be called to his room. I would find the door open and he would be lying on his bed wearing a T-shirt and nothing on the bottom. That was shocking for me.

“He forced me to perform oral sex on him, then ordered me to go clean myself and he prayed,” she testified.

She told the court that Omotoso threatened her not to tell anyone about what was happening between them, saying it was a covenant with God.

If she broke the covenant, she said, Omotoso warned that her life would be stagnant and she could die.

“Me and the 12th witness [Vuyiseka Nontlazi] were referred to as ‘daddy’s wives’ by accused number two.

“It had become a norm that she would come and call me to go and see Omotoso in his room.

“I would go numb in some instances and I was afraid to come out and tell people of the things he did to me because of how powerful he was and the threats he made.”

Omotoso and two co-accused Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho are facing a total of 62 charges relating to rape, sexual assault, human trafficking and racketeering.



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