Johannesburg - Cheryl Zondi, the woman whose testimony in the Timothy Omotoso rape and human trafficking trial last year held South Africans spellbound, says Judge Mandela Makaula’s decision to recuse himself from the trial means she may have to go through the trauma of testifying again.
"I was basically being punished for breaking my silence, and I still am publicly experiencing what it is to be at the mercy of secondary victimisation for the second time," Zondi said at a press conference in Johannesburg. "The NPA has not yet reached out to me to tell me how this recusal is going to affect me but I do read the news and the bottom line is that I am likely going to have to start testifying all over again
An emotional Zondi recounted how she made the decision to testify in the Nigerian pastor's trial without understanding fully how it would change every aspect of her life forever. She recounted how she had to move house, take measures to safeguard her family and write special exams because she was incapable of concentrating on her studies.
Zondi said she was not prepared for being thrust into the public eye and was traumatised by defence attorney Peter Daurbermann's questioning during which he repeatedly badgered her. She also learned that there was a R500 000 "hit" on her life because she dared to testify about her ordeal at the hands of the Jesus Dominion International (JDI) church leader.