Council of Churches distances itself from alleged ‘sex pest’ pastor and slams defence counsel

The SA Council of Churches has slammed the treatment of Cheryl Zondi during her testimony in the Timothy Omotoso trial.

During Zondi’s harrowing three-day testimony in the Port Elizabeth High Court ‚ Judge Mandela Makaula had to reprimand Omotoso’s legal counsel‚ Peter Daubermann‚ on several occasions because of the nature of questions he put to Zondi‚ 22.

“The manner in which the victim‚ young and courageous Cheryl Zondi‚ was traumatised during a cross-examination that was reminiscent of the apartheid security branch interrogation‚ left many aghast and with serious questions about the conduct of the judicial system‚ ” said Bishop Malusi Mpumelwa‚ general secretary of the South African Council of Churches.

At one stage Makaula stopped Daubermann from questioning Zondi about how far Omotoso had penetrated her when he raped her when she 14.

“Cheryl Zondi’s heroism is outstandingly remarkable and very few would have survived that frightful Omotoso defence.”

Mpumelwa’s statement was read out during the KwaZulu-Natal Church leaders meeting on Thursday.

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