Cheryl Zondi has thanked everyone who showed her support during her testimony of the rape trial of Timothy Omotoso. Picture: Raahil Sain/African News Agency/ANA

Johannesburg - Cheryl Zondi has on Friday thanked everyone who showed her support during her testimony of the rape trial of Timothy Omotoso.

“I am so overwhelmed! I do not know where to begin. I cannot believe the amount of support i am receiving, let alone the fierce, passionate level of support that is being shown by multitudes of women and men alike, both and young," Zondi said in a statement.

"Thank you so much for your love, unwavering support and fervent prayers."

Zondi said being a woman in this world was a challenging task on its own and they constantly find themselves having to defend their dignity on a daily basis.

"Whatever battle I am fighting is the same battle every other woman out there is fighting," said Zondi.

"How do I even begin to express my profuse gratitude to you? So many of you have taken time out of your daily routines to show your support and I am in absolute awe. I’ve been seeing thousands of your messages flowing in, a myriad of tweets, posts, comments and beautiful dedications! I am overcome by so much emotion."

Zondi pleaded with people to keep up the same level of "fierce support" to other survivors who are expected to take the stand. 

"We can't do this alone and we need you! May every heart standing with us be blessed beyond measure. I thank you. We thank you." 

On Wednesday, Zondi took the stand for a third day in the Port Elizabeth High Court for gruelling cross-examination by defence advocate Peter Daubermann, at the rape and human trafficking trial of Omotoso. 

Zondi, 22, had earlier testified that she was raped and sexually abused in 2010 at the hands of Omotoso, when she was 14. She joined the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) in 2009, at the tender age of 13.

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.

African News Agency (ANA)