Victim details sexual assault allegedly at the hands of Pastor Omotoso
The witness testimony in this story contains graphic detail of the alleged attack.
Port Elizabeth - Cheryl Zondi, 22, who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Nigerian Pastor Timothy Omotoso said she believed God was on her alleged attacker's side, the Port Elizabeth High Court heard on Monday.
Zondi said she waived her right to be unnamed in the sex trial involving Omotoso and his two alleged henchwomen because she wanted the world to know what type of person he is.
She was under cross-examination and questioned extensively by defence attorney Peter Daubermann on her aspirations to become a professional singer while being a member of the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church.
Daubermann asked about her first encounter with the televangelist at his mission house in Durban. At the time she was 14 years old when she was summoned to his bedroom, she testified.
Zondi said she was told by Omotoso to lock the door as she entered.
“You were in a room alone with a man. You say you were scared. What did you think was going to happen? Didn’t you wonder why the door was locked?” asked Daubermann.
Zondi replied that it was scary but it was also a privilege because Omotoso was thought to be a man of God. She said she wanted him to be her musical mentor and thought that he would train her.
The teenager knelt beside Omotoso who was in his bed under the sheets. She said he signalled for her to sit next to him on the bed.
She detailed the sexual assault, claiming that Omotoso hugged her tightly, pulled on her bra strap and pushed her on the bed.
Zondi said while she was fully clothed she felt his erect penis between her thighs.
She told the court that she did not resist and was aware that she was being sexually attacked and knew that such behaviour was wrong.
Zondi said she thought she might be raped.
“Why did you not scream, mam? You knew there were other people in the house, they would hear you?”
Zondi said she was scared and the girls in the house were loyal to Omotoso.
She further explained why she did not dare to object to his advances, saying she was shocked and confused and just said to him: “I just have to get used to the way things work in this house.”
Zondi said that even if she screamed for help nobody would have intervened.
She said that at the time she thought God would be on Omotoso’s side in committing a sexual assault.
“But this is against God’s teaching... How can a man of God be capable of doing these things you describe. You said you knew what he was doing was wrong,” said Daubermann.
Zondi explained again that she was too scared to oppose Omotoso because anyone who opposed him would die, so she allowed him to continue.
She said she was young and impressionable.
At night, Zondi said she was again summoned to his room where she thought she would definitely get raped.
“I thought he would rape me and I should allow him to do what he wanted to do. I did not want to face the wrath of God,” said Zondi.
This time she was instructed to remove her clothing, and Zondi said Omotoso penetrated her vagina slightly but was careful not to go all the way. She further described him rubbing himself against her genital area until he climaxed.
Daubermann then asked how many centimetres of Omotoso's penis had penetrated her, at which point Judge Mandela Makaula said he would not allow the question, to murmurs in the public gallery. Daubermann accused Makaula of hampering his cross-examination.
The 58-year-old televangelist faces a string of charges including rape, and the alleged trafficking of more than 30 girls and women who were from various branches of his church to a house in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal, where he allegedly sexually exploited them.
Alleged accomplices Lusanda Solani, 36 of Durban, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28, of Port Elizabeth, allegedly recruited girls all over the country and monitored their movements in the houses where they were being kept.
* Read more on the #OmotosoTrial here
African News Agency/ANA