Port Elizabeth - Tempers flared outside rape accused Timothy Omotoso’s Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church in Port Elizabeth on Sunday as civil society groups and political parties protested, demanding a shutdown of the service.
The church service in North End was suspended and congregants left the premises as angry protesters sang and demanded that the church shut down permanently.
The "Citizens In Unity" group included members of the African National Congress Youth League, ANC Women’s League, and Economic Freedom Fighters, as well as representatives of trade union federation the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and the South African Students’ Congress (Sasco).
Police and metro police officers guarded the building and were engaged in a few scuffles with angry protesters. Congregants also clashed with protesters as police stepped in to defuse tense situations. ANC women's desk member Nomafa Sinetile pleaded with protesters to exercise discipline, but protesters demanded that the JDI branding with Omotoso’s face be removed from the building.
Most congregants remained inside the building and were said to be fearful of leaving. They eventually vacated the premises amid screaming protesters who shouted “We are not fighting, we are here to save you from people who pretend that they are God but are not! We don’t have a problem with you! Just save yourselves and leave! Run Omotoso run! Run for your lives!”