The rape case against pastor Timothy Omotoso resumed in the Gqeberha High Court on Tuesday with the 10th witness taking the stand.
The trial is back on the court roll after a failed attempt by the defence 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 (NPA), 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 63 charges including racketeering, human trafficking, rape, and sexual assault.
It is alleged that Omotoso had major church branches in South Africa, Nigeria, and Israel, with Durban being the church’s headquarters in the country.
The complainants were either congregants, employees or persons selected to take part in the activities of the church.
When they were recruited, the complainants were under the impression that they would benefit spiritually or notice an improvement in the quality of their lives.
NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali said Omotoso allegedly through his co-accused paid and arranged for them to take complainants to his hotel, Durban, Israel, or Nigeria.
“Once the complainants arrived, Omotoso or his assistants would inform them of house rules which included that their cellphones be switched off or told not to contact male companions. They were to further abide by his instructions,” said Tyali.
The complainants and other female church members were allegedly kept in one room where they also slept.
Omotoso would allegedly pick one of the complainants to go to his private bedroom where he raped or sexually assaulted them.