Worshippers fill up PE court in support of pastor accused of sexual assault

2017-04-21 18:10

Hundreds of worshippers from Jesus Domination International church, where Timothy Omotoso is the head pastor and prophet, filled the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

They came in support of Omotoso, who was nabbed dramatically by the Hawks with a heavy contingent of the Tactical Response Team (TRT unit), shortly after he landed at the local airport with his three escorts on Thursday afternoon.

He has been accused of sexually abusing women who worked at the churches he managed in South Africa.

He was investigated after a woman from Port Elizabeth made accusations of sexual abuse against him.

Omotoso’s supporters came wearing purple-banded gold medals around their necks, holding placards with messages of support for him.

Timothy Omotoso’s female escort, known as Lulu, waiting to go inside the court on Friday. Picture: Nosipiwo Manona

Omotoso’s young female escort was present in court room 27. The woman in her early 20s had travelled with Omotoso on the Durban flight and later was nabbed by the Hawks.

Spokesperson for the Hawks, Robert Netshiunda, told City Press prior to the arrest that Omotoso was showing signs of unwillingness to live up to the expectations of their negotiated agreement; to hand himself over.

“We were expecting a rough arrest because his legal representatives were trying to make some unreasonable demands,” said Netshiunda.

The arrest turned into high drama as the arresting teams closed in on Omotoso.

In the video, the TRT closes in on him as he seeks refuge in the females’ toilets at the luggage collection section at the arrivals at the airport. The TRT follow him inside and reportedly find him locked inside a cubicle with his female escort.

Following the arrest he is seen with handcuffs at the back of his body, surrounded by the cops and the female escort following closely behind.

Onlookers broke into loud applause after Omotoso’s arrest.

An unidentified woman inside the court said they believed that Omotoso’s exposé was an inside job.

“The people who are responsible for this are unruly members of the church that do not want to be changed by the man of God,” she said.

“If Omotoso was a sexual offender, why didn’t he sleep with the multitudes of international prostitutes that have been coming in and out of his church?” she said.

She said all the prophets across the world were fasting for Omotoso.

“God will show them wonders, the blood is at work.”

Jesus Domination International church worshippers march to the Port Elizabeth Magistrates’ Court on Friday.Picture: Nosipiwo Manona

City Press has reliably learned that Omotoso’s female escort’s name is Lulu.

She was in the Port Elizabeth High Court on Thursday night, when Omotoso’s lawyers made an urgent application to have access to him.

She was reserved a special place inside the courtroom, as she sat emotionally in a crouched position, surrounded by two Nigerian nationals.

Lulu has been in the same clothing since their arrival in Port Elizabeth.

She told one of Omotoso’s four representatives that she couldn’t change her clothes because they were not planning to sleep over in Port Elizabeth.

“We were supposed to just have a short meeting and then fly back to Durban,” she said.

It is not clear what the nature of the relationship between Omotoso and Lulu is.

However, she received preferential treatment and was escorted throughout the court process.

A member of the Hawks discreetly confirmed to City Press that Omotoso was not planning to hand himself over on Thursday.

“We found him in possession of return air tickets for four people,” said the member.

“It is clear that he had no intention of handing himself over as we were expecting him to.”

Netshiunda also confirmed that if they had not applied their own instincts and ambushed Omotoso, he would have slipped away.

“We were misled into believing that his flight was delayed,” said Netshiunda.

“When we reached the airport his flight was on schedule and he attempted to escape, but only ended up in the toilet, where we found him locked in the cubicle,” he said.

The third person is identified to be Omotoso’s Durban legal representative, Bongani Cele.

We have not been able to find or identify the fourth person travelling with Omotoso.

His Port Elizabeth lawyer is Alwyn Griebenow, who also represents Christopher Panayiotou – who has been charged with the murder and conspiracy to murder his wife, Jayde, two years ago.

An application for bail was made by Griebenow on behalf of his client, who was remanded until May 3, when an official bail application will be formally heard in Court 22.

The state, represented by Zelda Swanepoel, stated that more evidence was to be compiled from the different provinces where Omotoso is alleged to have committed the alleged crimes.

The remand was met with deep sighs of disappointment and sobs from his supporters.

“Daddy! We love you Daddy,” sobbed the worshippers, as Omotoso was led out of court by the TRT unit.

Next on City Press

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

August 18 2019