The first witness in the sexual assault trial of Nigerian televangelist Pastor Timothy Omotoso, is wrapping up her evidence in South Africa.
Cheryl Zondi, who was 14 years old when the alleged assault started. has been on the witness stand in the High Court in Port Elizabeth, for several days, detailing the alleged sexual abuse she endured at the hands of Omotoso.
The defence for Omotoso has received some flak over his line of questioning of Zondi. “Why didn’t you scream during the alleged sexual attack?” This was one question put to her. .
Zondi said that even if she screamed for help nobody would have intervened. She said that at the time, she thought God would be on Omotoso’s side in committing a sexual assault. .
Zondi explained again that she was too scared to oppose Omotoso because anyone who opposed him would die, so she allowed him to continue. She said she was young and impressionable. .
At night, Zondi said she was again summoned to his room where she thought she would definitely get raped. “I thought he would rape me and I should allow him to do what he wanted to do. I did not want to face the wrath of God,” said Zondi. .
This time she was instructed to remove her clothe, and she said Omotoso penetrated her vagina slightly but was careful not to go all the way. She further described him rubbing himself against her genital area until he climaxed.
Daubermann then asked how many centimetres of Omotoso’s penis had penetrated her, at which point Judge Mandela Makaula said he would not allow the question. .
Daubermann accused Makaula of hampering his cross-examination. Omotoso faces a string of charges including rape, and the alleged trafficking of more than 30 girls and women to a house where he allegedly sexually exploited them.
Alleged accomplices Lusanda Solani, 36, and Zukiswa Sitho, 28, allegedly recruited girls all over the country and monitored their movements in the houses where they were being kept. Cross-examination continues.