[WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT] Pastor Lydia Malete finally testifies at the CRL Commission

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WARNING: This story contains graphic information that can upset sensitive readers.

The CRL Gender Commission heard more testimony of former congregants of Archbishop Stephen Zondo’s Rivers of Living Waters Church. A number of former members of his Evaton-based congregation have approached the CRL with numerous accusations including rape and murder.

The CRL had a hearing on Monday in which a pastor at the church defended herself from accusations that she had taken Zondo’s side over her niece who accused him of rape and murder.

Another witness who did not want to be named has also accused Zondo of sexual misconduct.

Pastor Lydia Malete has finally made it to the CRL Gender Commission where she opted for an open hearing. Malete along with her leader Archbishop Stephen Zondo took the commission to court where they lost the case to halt the hearings or have the court direct the commission to hold the hearings on camera to stop them from being broadcast.

Malete was given the option to be heard on camera by the commission but declined it.

Her testimony revolved around accusations of rape by her niece Bongi Mofokeng. Mofokeng accused the archbishop of rape, but Malete says she only heard these accusations when Bongi broadcast them on the radio. She also says Mofokeng had told her of a rape by an artist and there had been many conflicting stories that she had started to believe that Bongi had lost her mind.

The commissioners gave Malete a hard time questioning how she had handled the rape allegations and how she had seemed to take Zondo’s side. She has also told the commission that when Bongi made rape accusations against Zondo on a local radio station she called Zondo to apologise on behalf of the family.

Another witness who did not want to be identified spoke about her experience with Archbishop Zondo from 2011 to 2019. She says because she used to see dreams and visions Zondo took a keen interest in her putting together an intercessory group that shared these dreams.

She says between 2011 and 2019 Zondo called her every morning at 3am asking her the details of what she had dreamt. He had even given her a R1200 allowance for airtime so that she could return his calls.

She stopped going to church when Zondo allegedly forced himself on her during a one-on-one prayer meeting.

The witness, who says she knows two other women who had the same thing happening to them, says when she and her husband confronted Zondo he said he was overcome by the spirit of rape that was in her.

The witness also spoke about how they had lied on Zondo’s behalf that the church had sponsored their education. She also touched on a number of offerings the church had for the archbishop to reach his monetary targets.

The CRL says there might be another session later this week.