3:13 pm - Monday December 16, 2763

BREAKING NEWS: ‘Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotosho is an illegal immigrant in South Africa, Kept in Detention till June 9 ‘-Nceba Ntelwa, government’s prosecutor …Unrepentant members of Jesus Dominion International Church hired crowd to chant Omotoso’s name in front of Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court * ‘He’s a Director in FOUR Companies having FAKE physical address at 58 Summerplace in Humewood *Flashy Nigerian pastor lives like a rock star in one of South Africa’s richest suburbs *Omotoso smiles in the dock as his lawyer accused Hawks investigating officer Warrant Officer Peter Plaatjies of lying BY KELEGMA NPAKAKI/RELIGIOUS EDITOR, PORT ELIZABETH (SOUTH AFRICA) & GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, AMERICA

BREAKING NEWS:
‘Nigerian Pastor, Timothy Omotosho is an illegal immigrant in South Africa, Kept in Detention till June 9 ‘-Nceba Ntelwa, government’s prosecutor
…Unrepentant members of Jesus Dominion International Church hired crowd to chant Omotoso’s name in front of Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court
* ‘He’s a Director in FOUR Companies having FAKE physical address at 58 Summerplace in Humewood
*Flashy Nigerian pastor lives like a rock star in one of South Africa’s richest suburbs
*Omotoso smiles in the dock as his lawyer accused Hawks investigating officer Warrant Officer Peter Plaatjies of lying

BY KELEGMA NPAKAKI/RELIGIOUS EDITOR, PORT ELIZABETH (SOUTH AFRICA) & GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU, FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, AMERICA
FOR PASTOR TIMOTHY OMOTOSO, General Overseer of Jesus Dominion International Church in South Africa, his current problems regarding human trafficking and sex abuse scandal seem far from being over, as his on-going court trial at Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court revealed that he will have to spend some time in police detention till June 9 when further hearing on the matter commence.
Latest argument brought before the federal court by South African government’s prosecutor, Nceba Ntelwa confirmed that 10 complaints made by young girls in ages of 14 and 17. Some of these underage girls are orphans with poor backgrounds.
In the words of Ntelwa: “There were a total of 10 complainants against Omotoso, four of whom were young girls in ages of 14 and 17 at the time. All the victims vulnerable for different reasons. Some had no parents or came from poor backgrounds.”
This government’s lawyer raised the alarm that court should made an order to protect a group of women and children from the pastor who allegedly trafficked and then sexually abused them.
This State advocate referring to hundreds of protesters holding placards in support of Pastor Timothy Omotoso said: “I am pleading with the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court to protect a group of women and children from this pastor who allegedly trafficked and then sexually abused them. Just look outside [the court] at what is happening. It really pains me. There are people defending him. They don’t understand why he is here. I ask the court to protect the victims by not releasing that man.”
Our correspondent gathered that die-hard members of Omotoso’s church allegedly hired paid crowd of ladies in their 20s and widows in their 40s and 50s to chant solidarity songs, carry placards in ‘support’ of this embattled pastor.
Omotoso’s fate as a Nigerian televangelist and head of the Jesus Dominion International Church will be made known on June 9 when the court hearing continues. Obviously looking unbothered, not fully knowing the implications and ripple effect of his sexual rendevous, this 58 years old Nigerian born ‘Man of God’ decked in a shiny blue smiled in the dock as his lawyer accused Hawks investigating officer Warrant Officer Peter Plaatjies of lying, generalising and exaggerating facts.
For Defence advocate Alfonso Hattingh, he argued that Omotoso, who was arrested on April 21 and faces 22 counts of rape and sexual assault, had given an undertaking that he would stand trial, not interfere with state witnesses and abide by any bail conditions set.
Challenging this position, Ntelwa said Omotoso who lives in Durban had been aware of the pending investigation since October and had made it near to impossible for the Hawks to arrest him.
The government prosecutor claims Omotoso had allegedly continued his sexual encounters with young women. This just shows you the type of man we are dealing with. All the victims were vulnerable for different reasons. Some had no parents or came from poor backgrounds.
Ntelwa argues it was undeniable that such pastors had a controlling power over their congregants, “It was easy to lure them in and groom them with the promise of a better life. After referring to previous cases where pastors had, in the past, been convicted of sex crimes. I have seen how some pastors make their congregants eat grass,” he said to laughter in court.
“The people working for him are willing to influence and threaten witnesses. He has no emotional ties here. His children are UK citizens, he rents his home in Durban and has no fixed property.”
‘Omotoso, an illegal Immigrant’
Ntelwa said Omotoso was an illegal immigrant and should he be released, there was nothing stopping him from jumping on an aeroplane out of the country.
He explains: “The strength of the state’s case, coupled with the prescribed minimum sentence of life in prison, is incentive enough for him to flee. If he even has top brass from the police in his pockets, who can the victims turn to? All they have is this court.”
In a defense reaction, Hattingh said Plaatjies was a dangerous witness who went out of his way to paint Omotoso in as bad a light as possible. Conceding that Omotoso had known about the pending investigation for months prior to his arrest, Hattingh said Omotoso had travelled to and from Nigeria five times, yet did not flee.
Omotoso’s defense attorney argues that it was unfair to keep this Nigerian pastor in custody because his congregants ‘might’ interfere with the complaints.The fact that some of the complainants had also discussed on TV what had allegedly happened to them cast a bad light on the state’s case, with suspicions of collusion.
Meanwhile, the judge ruled that on the 22 cases regarding human trafficking and sex abuse scandal that Omotoso is facing, he should be remanded in police custody till June 9 when further hearing will be heard on the matter. Omotoso’s wife, Taiwo was also around in the last court case to give her embattled husband a moral support.
“A miracle worker who cures the sick, reforms criminals and lives like a rock star in one of South Africa’s richest suburbs,” this is how scores of congregants, past and present, described Omotoso, 58, the flashy Nigerian pastor at the centre of a which has gripped the country.
Known for his designer suits, trademark sunglasses and luxury cars, Omotoso’s past 16 years in South Africa have seen him grow a modest pop-up church in New Brighton to a multi-national religious empire.
He appeared in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court yesterday where his case was postponed earlier to May 3. Omotoso moved to Durban in 2001 from England, where he is still a registered director of the Jesus Dominion International Church in Surrey.
A year later he headed to Port Elizabeth, where, according to fellow church pastor and supporter Bishop Gagia, “God told him to come to Port Elizabeth to save the Xhosas”. Within days of arriving in Port Elizabeth, Omotoso was invited to speak at a religious gathering at the Lillian Ngoyi Sports Centre in Kwazakhele.
Reports reveal that two days later 50 people attended his first organised service at the Hoza Hall in New Brighton, he left immediately when the worshippers failed to arrive on time. He was convinced to return at another time.
Of his penchant for flashy clothing, a church member not permited to speak said: “Everything from his clothing, shoes, jewellery and sunglasses comes from a designer in England.”
Omotoso spent a year in Port Elizabeth before heading back to live in Durban. The Port Elizabeth church then moved from Kwazakhele to Motherwell and finally to Govan Mbeki Avenue in North End in 2011.
The ministry’s branch in Port Elizabeth now has about 1 500 congregants. The Jesus Dominion International website lists 27 churches around South Africa, with branches also in Britain, France and Israel.
For isntance, by last week only the Bloemfontein, Mthatha, East London and Port Elizabeth branches could be reached on the listed phone numbers. A Durban resident, who declined to be named and answered the number listed as the Secunda branch, said he had been inundated with phone calls regarding the ministry.
His words: “I have no link to this church, and I have no idea why my number is listed as the contact. I have only ever seen this man on TV, I have never met him and I have never gone to one of his churches.”
In a quick search of company owners in South Africa, few document shows Omotoso as a director of at least four companies called Tim Omotoso Global Outreach, Jesus Dominion International Church, Altivex 52, Togo Records and Help The Helpless Foundation.
Omotoso is also the founder of the Ancient of Day Broadcasting Network which is available in Africa, America, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. His wife Taiwo Omotoso, 51, is listed as a director alongside him in all four companies.
The company records for Tim Omotoso Global Outreach show the couple’s physical address is 58 Summerplace in Humewood. But the caretaker for the block of flats, who declined to be named, said: “Number 58 does not exist. I know everyone in this building. That man never lived here.”
Another former pastor in the church revealed that Omotoso rents at least three properties in Durban’s affluent Umhlanga Rocks. This is confirmed by company searches which show three different addresses for Omotoso in Umhlanga Rocks.
At least one of the properties he rents in Umhlanga Rocks was valued at R2-million by the municipal valuation roll in 2011. Sadly, Omotoso is not registered as an owner of any properties.
The former pastor who believes Omotoso is innocent, left the church because it was “starting to attract young people”. According to him, “Omotoso never hid his love for expensive cars. He likes expensive cars very much. He has a Lexus and a Porsche. His wife drives a Jaguar. None of the vehicles is registered under his name.”

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