New state witness takes the stand in pastor Omotoso rape trial

Melucia Jiyani, a new state witness in the rape case of Nigerian televangelist Timothy Omotoso, is expected to testify in the ongoing trial at the Gqeberha High Court.

This after defence advocate Peter Daubermann wrapped up his cross-examination with one of Omotoso’s alleged victims, Cheryl Zondi.

Before the proceedings were adjourned on Wednesday, Daubermann told the court that Omotoso never threatened Zondi nor did he threaten her with death if she disobeyed him.

Daubermann said this after Zondi gave a more explicit testimony, saying Omotoso told her to buy condoms.

Sobbing, Zondi told the court how she was ordered to perform oral sex to the Jesus Dominion International Church founder and be expected to sing in a choir afterwards.

The defence lawyer said Zondi’s statements were not consistent, alleging that she changed her statement in court.

Probing why Zondi went back to the church after the alleged sexual assaults by the pastor, she said she did so because she missed singing in a church band, her sole reason to join the church when she was 14.

The trial resumed last week after a failed attempt by the defence team to have it dismissed.

This after the Supreme Court of Appeal turned down the defence’s application for a special entry in terms of section 317 of the Criminal Procedure Act, where it pointed to irregularities and illegalities in the proceedings.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority, the latest application was one of many that have led to delays for almost six years.

Omotoso and his co-accused, Lusanda Sulani and Zikiswa Sitho, are in the dock on 62 charges including racketeering, human trafficking, rape, and sexual assault.

The trial continues.


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