Cheryl Zondi. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - One of the witnesses in controversial Pastor Timothy Omotoso's rape trial, Cheryl Zondi on Tuesday announced she has launched her own foundation.

Zondi made the announcement at a media briefing at the offices of the CRL Rights Commission in Braamfontein.

Addressing reporters, the 22-year-old UJ student announced that the non-profit organisation would be named after herself. 

"Just to give a bit of background on the foundation. First of all the decision to name it after myself never crossed my mind at first, but when I thought about it, it made sense because unawares, not expecting the kind of turnout, not anticipating the level of support that I received just by saying something that happened to me, I attached my name and my face to this cause that is so close to my heart and that I now consider my calling. It's the reason why I'm here.

"Through this foundation, I want to assist women and young people who have gone through the same experiences I have in sacred spaces," she said. 

Zondi confirmed that the NPO was officially be registered but did not yet have a website. Instead, it could be accessed on social media platforms.

CRL Rights Commission chairperson Thoko Mkhwanazi-Xaluva will be the foundation's deputy chairperson.

A few months ago, Zondi 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. 

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. 

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