Pretoria - A woman who claimed she was sexually violated while Rivers of Living Waters Church leader Bishop Bafana Stephen Zondo was praying for her and her marriage was yesterday grilled as to why she only laid criminal charges against him nearly three years after the incident.
The smartly dressed woman, who may not be identified, told the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, this week that Zondo stuck his private part in her mouth while he prayed for her.
She said she had been a member of his flock for 10 years when the incident occurred in December 2020.
According to her, an usher called her after a church service and said Zondo asked to pray for her in his office.
He then told her he wanted to pray for her marriage, and during the prayer, he also prayed for the increase of her libido.
According to the woman, she was standing with her eyes closed and her arms raised when she suddenly felt his private part in her mouth. When she opened her eyes, he had returned the part to his pants.
The emotional woman said she ran out of the office in shock.
She, however, only reported the matter to the police three years later, which Zondo’s advocate, Piet Pistorius, said he found very strange.
He questioned her at length about this yesterday after he warned her that lying under oath is a criminal offence.
The alleged victim said she remained mum all those years, as her brother-in-law was employed in the financial department of the church, and she was afraid he could lose his job if she said anything.
Pistorius, however, said that up to now, the man had retained his job.
The woman also said she decided to open a case with the police after she was summoned before the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities.
The commission was investigating similar claims, and the woman said her name somehow came up.
“After I appeared before the commission, I realised that I also need justice,” the woman said.
She also claimed that she at first remained mum as Zondo had sent two messages to her, which she had perceived to be threatening. According to her, he said: “Remember your brother” in the messages. As her brother-in-law was the head of the family, she was afraid that his job could be in jeopardy.