News Brief

The Omotoso Trial is Resuming After a Long Postponement

The trial had been postponed after the presiding judge was asked by the defence to recuse himself.

Controversial Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotoso, is back at the Eastern Cape High Court in Port Elizabeth as his trial resumes today. He is on trial for 63 charges of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking.


Timothy Omotoso is the well-known televangelist of the Jesus Dominion International Church which was subsequently shut down shortly after his trial began last year. The trial has taken South Africa by storm because it highlights how alleged 'holy men' constantly take advantage of their congregants.

South Africa is fertile ground for these charlatans because of the crippling poverty, unemployment and inequality that is the reality for their congregants. There have been congregants whose 'holy men' have had them eat grass, ingest petrol, have insecticide sprayed on them, all in an effort to 'heal them'. Another controversial 'holy man' in South Africa, Shepherd Bushiri, was arrested along with his wife, for money laundering and fraud. He is also set to appear in court today.

Omotoso allegedly kept about 30 young women at his home in Umhlanga Rocks where he allegedly forced them to perform various sexual acts on him. There will be 49 witnesses testifying against Omotoso in the trial. The first witness, Cheryl Zondi, testified last year at the beginning of the trial and was cross-examined by defence lawyer Peter Daubermann in what was a disgusting display of a man claiming to be ''doing his job''.

READ: The Omotoso Rape Trial Shows Why South African Women are in Crisis

The presiding Judge Mandela Makaula was asked to recuse himself by Daubermann who cited that he was not impartial and hence the postponement of the trial. The application to have Judge Makaula recuse himself has since been thrown out.



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