The trial of Preacher Omotoso

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For those of you who have no idea who Omotoso is, he is a flashy charismatic church priest who was nabbed by the Hawks in a dramatic Hollywood-style raid as he got off a plane at Port Elizabeth International Airport just before the long Easter weekend. He is being charged with human trafficking and sexual offences.

Proceedings at the priest’s trial in Port Elizabeth last week made the Sunday tabloids and broadsheets, revealing details of how Omotoso, with the assistance of his devoted assistants, known as “recruiters”, connived to lure teenage girls from poor families to populate his harems around the country.

The harems were simply known to the church’s congregants as “mission houses” to disguise the alleged evil taking place within their walls.

Giving evidence in court, Hawks investigator Peter Plaatjies told a packed courtroom tales that would make anybody’s hair stand on end and hearts skip a beat.

And all this was said in the presence of Omotoso’s wife, who listened to Officer Plaatjies’ testimony and heard about her husband’s alleged encounters with teenage girls, some of them young enough to be his grandchildren.

Of course, as a respectable family publication, Kathorus MAIL will not provide the details of how Omotoso allegedly harmed these young girls.

I think it is time that communities stood up and questioned the credentials of many of these charismatic priests who practise from tent churches that sprout up uninvited in our neighborhoods.

Plaatjies’ evidence against Omotoso is that he threw his money around like confetti to lure innocent young girls from poor communities into his harems.

It is alleged that once these girls were identified by the “recruiters” and snatched, they would be groomed to service Omotoso. They were promised a better life in what many of them thought was a genuine house of God. The “recruiters” allegedly targeted young girls being raised by single women in poor communities where there would no fear of angry fathers or other male relatives.

Kathorus MAIL strongly believes whoever Omotosos’ “recruiters” may be, they too should be standing side by side with him in the dock at the PE Magistrate’s Court.

In his defence, Omotoso’s legal representatives were reported to have rejected the charges against their client, threatened to sue the State for what they described as his wrongful arrest. Meanwhile, Omotoso also lashed back again court at the Hawks about his continued detention in what he described as “appalling prison conditions”.

Zaid Khumalo

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