Cheryl Zondi to continue responding to Omotoso’s gruelling defence

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The court case of the controversial and flamboyant pastor Timothy Omotoso is set to resume at the Port Elizabeth High Court on Tuesday.

The first witness Cheryl Zondi is expected to continue answering questions under a gruelling cross-examination by Omotoso’s defence lawyer.

Omotoso could not stop shaking his head, as Cheryl Zondi’s cross examination got under way.

Zondi said the vibrancy and youthfulness of the Jesus Dominion International church is what attracted her to the institution. She appeared confident during her cross-examination, although emotional at times.

Answering gruelling questions by the defence lawyer, she insisted that she did not have a love life before the controversial pastor allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Zondi described Omotoso’s behaviour during her first encounter with him as inappropriate. She said she joined the church at the age of 13, and that Omotoso had first sexually abused her when she was 14-years-old.

Zondi said she did not want to remember some of the details of the alleged sexual abuse she suffered. She testified that she never resisted when Omotoso allegedly sexually assaulted her, because he said she would experience the wrath of God if she refused.

She also said she couldn’t leave the mission house in Durban, where the alleged sexual assault occurred, because she was entirely dependent on Omotoso for accommodation and transport.

The defence accused Zondi of fabricating her evidence, as her verbal and written statements did not tally with her testimony in court.

Judge Mandela Makuala intervened several times, disallowing several intimate questions asked by the defence, saying some of the questions were unfair to the witness.

Meanwhile, Coordinator of the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League in the Eastern Cape Nontombi Nama says she is not happy with how the defence was handling the victim.

Nama says, “So far the proceedings are going fine but I’m not happy about the way the guy who’s defending Omotoso is handling the victim, because she is young, vulnerable and disturbed, but this attorney keeps on repeating one and the same thing, trying his best so that she can be confused.”

“We are not happy because as we see it now the young girl is suffering. I don’t know how many times, because she suffered when she was raped, emotionally, no she is being prosecuted as if she is the one who is in the wrong,” adds Nama.

A total of 49 witnesses have been lined up for the trial.