Court hears details on how Omotoso allegedly abused, intimidated women

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The second day in the trial of the televangelist Timothy Omotoso saw the first witness, Andisiwe Dike, continuing her testimony at the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Omotoso and two co-accused are facing a total of 97 charges between them, including trafficking for sexual purposes, rape and racketeering.

Dike was giving details of how young women were allegedly sexually abused and intimidated by the accused.

The 30-year-old women spent 13 months in the church house of the Jesus Dominion International Church in Mhlanga, Durban, with the hope of improving her life.

Dike tried her best to be brave in recalling various incidents in the church house. She told Judge Irma Schoeman that she and other women had to undergo an HIV test demanded by the pastor, but they were not allowed to mention his involvement. The results were presented to the pastor.

Video: Jayed-Leigh Paulse reports… 

‘Different persona’

Dike alleges she was regularly called to his room for sexual favours, saying she was too scared to object, as the women were warned not to go against Omotoso’s will.

They were made to believe that they would be punished by God. Dike said he had a different persona as the pastor in church, and the person at the church house.

In church, he was a person to look up to, respected, feared and admired. She alleges he would even boast in church by saying he is sleeping with the prettiest girls in the church, and his wife knows about it.

Dike adds that at home he did not even call the women with their names, but called them using animal names that related to their month of birth.

She was called Tiger or April.  She said they were treated like objects. She mentioned that they did not get enough food.

In pictures shown in court, they were accommodated in a luxury double story house in La Lucia. They however slept on mattresses on the floor.

Dike says she was given money once to go home and had to return. She testified that she was too scared to lay charges against Omotoso as there were many police officials in the church who even threw their clothes on the floor for him to walk over.

Video: Omotoso’s supporters chanting outside court 

Dike continued to tell the court that when it came to light that activities in the house were out in the open on social media, the accused was furious.

She insisted that after his arrest, it was like someone had died, and the women all left when the house was closed down. Dike said she then battled with alcoholism and depression for which she received treatment.

The court adjourned until Wednesday as the witness indicated she was very tired. Defence Lawyer Peter Daubermann will continue with his cross-examination Wednesday.

In the video below SABC reporter Jayed-Leigh Paulse says members of the media were disappointed with a judgement not to allow cameras inside court: