Port Elizabeth - The #TotalShutDown movement on Wednesday gathered outside the Port Elizabeth High Court to show support for Cheryl Zondi who is under cross-examination in the human trafficking trial involving Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso.
The women, dressed in black and red, picketed and sang songs in Zondi’s honour.
South Africans on social media have rallied behind Zondi and she has been commended widely for her bravery on the stand.
Placards read: “I believe them. I believe them. I believe you Cheryl Zondi.”
Other posters read: “No victim blaming!”
#TotalShutDown said it believed the survivors and would stand in solidarity with them.
Zondi, 22, had earlier testified that she was raped and sexually abused by Omotoso when she joined the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) in 2009 at the age of 13.
#TotalShutDown protesters outside the PE High Court to show support for Cheryl Zondi and victims in the Omotoso Trial. Video: Raahil Sain/African News Agency(ANA)
Cheryl Zondi has a light moment with State Prosecutor Nceba Ntelwa. This will be Zondi’s third day under cross-examination. Video: Raahil Sain/African News Agency (ANA)
The Nigerian pastor faces 63 main charges and 34 alternative counts which include human trafficking, rape, sexual assault, racketeering and conspiracy in aiding another person to commit sexual assault.
His two alleged henchwomen, Lusanda Sulani and Zukiswa Sitho are accused of recruiting girls from all over the country for purposes of sexual exploitation.
The 58-year-old televangelist allegedly trafficked 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.